Posts Tagged ‘interdental cleaning’

Diet and the effect it can have on your children’s teeth (by Samantha Roden)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Diet and its effect on teeth

When sugar is consumed either through foods or drinks it sticks to our teeth.  When plaque is left on the teeth through not brushing or incorrect brushing bacteria  in the plaque turn the sugar in to an acid, which then attack’s the enamel.


Most of the time saliva can protect the teeth, but when sugary foods and drinks are consumed throughout the day the teeth are open to acid for a lot longer and the saliva cannot repair the teeth and therefore decay can start to happen.


fruit and veg

To avoid this form happening you should limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks by having them at mealtimes only.  Try to stick to fruit, cheese, vegetables and milk or water between meals.

Citrus fruits like oranges are good for vitamin C.  But remember that this type of fruit is acidic, so whilst it is OK to snack on fruit between meals eat it all in one go.


Your child has 20 baby teeth up until the age of around 6 years old.

At the age of 6 you may notice your child complain of slight pain  at the back of their mouth.  At this age their permanent adult teeth are coming through their gum behind their baby teeth.

It is very important to ensure that your child brushes further back now when brushing their teeth.  In a lot of cases children present at checkups with decay in their first adult teeth as they have not brushed them properly.



fissure-sealants-preventative-dentistry These teeth have deep fissures (see tooth on the left) in them where food can get trapped and may not be easily removed.  In some cases the dentist may wish to place a fissure sealant (see tooth on the right) – a coating which is painted onto the tops to make the teeth easier to clean and food less likely to stick here.


Remember to book your child in for regular check ups.

Toothpaste (written by Samantha Roden, hygienist)

Thursday, December 12th, 2013


As a dental hygienist one of the most frequent questions I get asked is “which toothpaste is the best


Fluoride is the most important aspect when choosing a toothpaste.


Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth enamel (the outer surface of the tooth) and along with a good brushing technique and minimising your sugar intake throughout the day will help to prevent the need for fillings.

If you are using a toothpaste with the wrong amount of fluoride your teeth could potentially be at risk of developing tooth decay which could lead to pain, abscess, bad breath and in some cases tooth loss.

You can find how much fluoride your toothpaste contains by looking on the ingredients list of the tube or outer packaging of your toothpaste. If unsure ask your dental hygienist.



  • Children up to the age of 3 years should be using a smear of toothpaste with no less than 1,000 ppm fluoride. Children over 3 and adults should be using a pea sized amount of toothpaste containing 1,350 – 1,500 ppm fluoride.


After brushing you should spit out the excess toothpaste and not rinse with any water or mouthwash for maximum fluoride benefit.


Patients who have a high risk of developing dental decay can be prescribed a higher strength fluoride toothpaste to help prevent this.


Some other toothpastes you may find are sensitive, whitening and toothpastes aimed at helping prevent gum disease.


Sensitive toothpastes work really well for patients suffering with sensitivity, different brands work better for different people, if one doesn’t suit you try a different make. Sensodyne and Colgate pro relief are the main ones on the market at the minute. They contain an ingredient that helps stop sensitivity.


Once you have found one that suits you, the same brand should be used from then on to gain the full benefit from your toothpaste and remember not to rinse with water or mouthwash after brushing.

If you have any particular areas that are more sensitive than others for example an area of gum recession, you can dry the area and rub the sensitive toothpaste on with your finger.


Some Abrasive whitening toothpastes can damage teeth, Janina whitening is a good low abrasive toothpaste that we recommend. If you wish whiter teeth you can discuss professional teeth whitening with your dentist or hygienist.


Toothpastes with stannous fluoride may help in reducing gingivitis and early signs of gum disease.


Feel free to ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding toothpastes  BOOK AN APPOINTMENT



Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013




Why clean in between teeth?


Daily interdental cleaning is imperative. Plaque build up between teeth will not be cleaned by a toothbrush or a mouthwash and can lead to tooth decay, calculus/tartar formation and gum disease


Tooth decay


When interdental cleaning doesn’t take place plaque will stagnate between teeth, when sugary foods and drinks are consumed the plaque will turn to acid causing tooth decay. If the plaque between teeth is removed effectively on a daily basis this can be prevented.


Gum disease


Bacteria in plaque can irritate the gum and cause inflammation, initially the gum will be slight red, puffy may bleed when brushing but not necessarily be painful, this is why gum disease sometimes goes unnoticed by patients. If gum disease is left untreated and allowed to progress, the plaque bacteria will not only irritate the gum but start to eat away at the bone that supports the teeth which eventually can lead to tooth loss.


What is the best way to clean in between?


For interdental cleaning, the choices are endless (floss, tape, sticks, single tufted brush, superfloss, brushes) but your hygienist will advise you on what is the best for you, they will choose the correct aid based on the size of the interproximal spaces and the ability and motivation of the individual.



Flossing – floss picks/floss/tape are passed in between teeth and a sweeping action used to clean underneath the gum. Most patients will use a sawing action which is wrong and can make the gum sore.




Interdental brushes - come in a range of different sizes and textures to accommodate different size gaps

- The brush is passed directly through each gap as close to the gum line as possible to achieve effective plaque/food removal.









Airfloss/water jets - a jet of water and air is passed through each gap in between the teeth, flossing and/or interdental brushes are recommended alongside these devices to mechanically remove the plaque as plaque is a very sticky substance and not removed by airfloss/water jet alone.


“My gums bleed so I don’t clean in between”  


When you first start to clean in between you may notice bleeding. If this happens then persevere, don’t be put off, the gum is bleeding because you are dislodging the old plaque that is irritating the gum.


It is important to clean between daily to stop the plaque from stagnating. It may take a few weeks for bleeding to stop completely so don’t be disheartened if your doing everything you should and don’t notice the bleeding stop straight away.


If certain areas bleed more than others don’t avoid them and concentrate on those areas more possibly cleaning between twice a day until the bleeding stops.



If you are unsure whether you are using the correct interdental cleaning aid or performing the wrong technique, your hygienist will be happy to go through this with you at your next appointment.  BOOK AN APPOINTMENT