Asked Questions

Why is tooth brushing and plaque control so important?

We need to brush our teeth twice daily as the bacterial dental plaque is constantly forming on our teeth. The bacteria cause our gums to become inflamed and bleed, what we call gingivitis. This can lead to further gum disease and boneloss that is irreversible. In addition plaque sitting on our teeth can cause tooth decay and cavities to form. This can be painful and will require you to have a filling by your dentist. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of our teeth and makes them more resistant to tooth decay. It is therefore important to use a fluoride toothpaste twice daily, and spit the paste, don’t rinse it away so that the fluoride can continue to act on the teeth for longer.

Why is sugar so bad for my teeth?

Sugar is found in so many of the products and foods and drinks that we consume. The bacteria in our mouth feed on the sugar we take and form acid by-products that dissolve the enamel tooth surface. Reducing sugar is crucial for the health of our teeth, to prevent cavity formation. In addition, sugar has a negative impact on our health, contributing to obesity and poor general health and fitness. Try to cut out sugar, or at least reduce the amount and frequency that you eat and drink. Sugary snacks and carbonated drinks are particularly bad for our teeth and general health. A healthy diet goes a long way to help you achieve good general health and well being as well as good dental health and good skin!

Why are my teeth sensitive?

There are several reasons why teeth may become sensitive. A common problem is receding gums. Teeth may become sensitive from overbrushing which in time can lead to the gums receding up the surface of the root. Exposed root surfaces are sensitive as there are many nerve endings. Applying sensitive tooth paste directly to these surfaces blocks the nerve sensitivity. Try using a toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth. Rub a little toothpaste into the sensitive area when going to bed as it helps protect the surface.
Try to avoid strongly acidic foods and drinks and wait at least an hour after eating before brushing as this could cause even more sensitivity
If the pain continues, speak to a dental professional who can offer further advice to reduce your symptoms. A number of things can cause sensitivity and your dental team will be able to identify these and advise the correct care

Why do my gums bleed when I brush?

Healthy gums don’t bleed. Gums bleed when they are irritated by dental plaque, a soft film of bacteria, being left on or around your teeth. Plaque forms each day and tends to collect along the gum margins and in difficult to reach areas. This causes inflammation called gingivitis and if not addressed can develop into gum disease. Over time, if not cleaned off through daily brushing and interdental cleaning, the plaque can turn into a mineralised deposit called calculus which will require professional scaling by your hygienist to remove it. It is important even if your gums bleed you continue to brush to keep your teeth clean or the bacteria will make your gum inflammation worse. After a few days of thorough cleaning, your gums should stop bleeding. If this does not happen you will need to ask the advice of your dental team as you may need professional cleaning.

Why are my teeth staining?

Everyone has slightly different shades of enamel. The shade of our teeth also does darken slightly over time as the enamel becomes thinner. Stain can be from outside sources such as the presence of plaque and calculus deposits around your teeth. To keep teeth clean and free from stain you need to brush thoroughly for at least 2 minutes twice daily to remove dangerous plaque bacteria. Teeth can also become stained due to the food and drink we consume, such as red berries and red wine, and due to smoking and nicotine. Enamel stains can also occur from within the tooth at the time that teeth are first developing. There are several options for improving the shade of your teeth. See your hygienist for air polish and calculus and stain removal. There are various options for whitening your teeth. Enquire about these through your dental team. Over the counter whitening toothpaste may help to brighten your teeth and remove some surface stains.