Healthy Teeth: A Nervous Patient’s Guide to Dental Hygiene: Part 2

Article by Dr Raha Sepehrara

At The Dental Suite, we like to do all we can to help people look after their teeth. For some patients, a visit to the dentist can be really intimidating and usually they avoid visiting the dentists and hope their teeth can look after themselves. There is no reason to suffer from a dental condition when you can prevent it. Which is why we like to provide a calming atmosphere and help answer any queries you may have.

This is the second part of our guide to dental hygiene which answers your most commonly asked questions. You can find Part 1 here.

I have a terrible fear of the dentist, what can I do?
A lot of people have a fear of going to the dentist. They know they have to keep their teeth clean but they always manage to find a way to put things off. This can lead to a build-up of plaque and damaging tooth decay. At the Dental Suite we are used to dealing with nervous patients and we’ll do everything we can to put you at ease, going at your pace and listening to any anxieties you may have.

What can I do to prevent tooth decay?
You can greatly reduce tooth decay by regularly cleaning your teeth and using a fluoride mouthwash. Flossing between your teeth also helps to stop the build-up of plaque and bacteria. You should avoid drinking too many soft fizzy drinks or fruit juices as these can erode the enamel on your teeth. Cutting down on frequent snacking also helps.

What causes cavities?
Cavities are holes in your tooth enamel and can be caused by poor oral hygiene and too many food products like fizzy drinks.

Where do bacteria come from?
Bacteria are microscopic organisms, are found everywhere and it is perfectly natural to have them in your mouth. The problem occurs when harmful bacteria build up because you are not brushing your teeth often enough. These can produce toxins which cause damage as well as problems such as bad breath.

Will changing my diet make a difference to my tooth health?
Changing your diet to something healthier can make a big difference to your oral health. Drinking too many fizzy drinks and sugary foods put you at a much higher risk of decay, especially if you don’t have a good cleaning regime.

What causes sensitive teeth?
Exposing the dentine and the area beneath the tooth enamel where you find nerves can cause your teeth to be oversensitive to heat and cold. This can be caused by over brushing, breaking a tooth or the erosion of your enamel over time.

How do I manage sensitive teeth?
For mild discomfort, you can use a toothpaste that is designed to reduce sensitivity. If it continues to be a problem then you should contact your dentist for a closer look.

What is periodontal disease?
This is an advanced form of disease that has gone beyond the gum line and has begun to destroy the join between tooth and the gum.

What causes tooth loss?
Bacteria gets into the area between the gum and the tooth destroying the bone that holds them firmly in the jaw.

What causes teeth to lose their colour?
Teeth can lose their colour for a variety of reasons, including drinks like coffee and red wine. As you age, yellow dentine underneath the surface of the tooth begins to show through.

Are tooth whitening solutions safe?
Tooth whitening is normally safe but you must follow the instructions carefully. Products available in the shops are not as efficient as ones you can get from your dentist and it is always best to seek professional advice before you make your choice.

How do whitening toothpastes work?
They generally just remove the surface stain and are not suitable for removing longstanding ones such as those you get from smoking. They may change the surface colour of your teeth a little but not as much as some products claim.

Is it normal for my gums to bleed when I brush my teeth?
Gums can bleed if you brush your teeth too harshly but it can also be a sign of gum disease. If the bleeding persists over a couple of cleans when you have been taking care then it is time to visit your dentist. Allowing a condition like gum disease to develop unchecked can lead to tooth loss and other oral health problems.

What are the stages of gum disease?
There are two main stages: gingivitis that can then progress to periodontitis. If you think you may have a problem then it is important to contact your dentist.

Visiting a dentist regularly can help keep your teeth in perfect condition and spot any problems that may cause serious damage if left untreated.

At The Dental Suite, we understand your fears contact us today and protect the health of your teeth now and well into the future. Our dentists are not only dental-phobia certified, but also experts on sedation dentistry. Release your fears with us.



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