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Choosing the Right Toothbrush | Dental Excel Blog

Choosing the Right Toothbrush – Dental Tips

Choosing the Right Toothbrush | Dental Excel BlogEveryone knows that brushing your teeth is an important part of the daily bathroom routine, and you need a toothbrush and paste to do that effectively. With a mind-boggling array of toothbrushes available, however, how do you know you are choosing the right toothbrush to use?

Toothbrushes are widely available today, in supermarkets, pharmacies and even in the local service station shop! As a general rule of thumb, unless your toothbrush is showing obvious signs of wear, you should consider changing it every three months or so.

It is also wise to consider changing your toothbrush after having a cold or flu virus, as the bristles can store bacteria, which in some cases can lead to reinfection.

How do you go about choosing the right toothbrush for you when there is so much choice?

Many people don’t realise that it is important to select the right toothbrush to suit your teeth and gums. Some of us will apply a simple strategy, such as the colour of the toothbrush, the grip style or the head shape that is most attractive. Cost can come into the fore too, and it can often be tempting to buy a cheap toothbrush, or a multipack for the whole family to save on the expense.

Although there is nothing wrong with applying these strategies to your next toothbrush shop, you should bear in mind that some types of toothbrush may not be suitable for your teeth and gums, particularly if you have any dental issues going on, such as overbite, overcrowding or problems with the wisdom teeth. You may have sensitive teeth, or struggle with plaque retention which will determine your personal needs to apply to your choice of brush.

We have put together a few tips that you could apply to shopping for your next toothbrush:

Ask your dentist for advice – dental professionals are by far the best to ask for advice. Your own dentist will know what type of toothbrush you should be using and can recommend some attributes to look for.

Here at Dental Excel, our general dentistry services include helping our patients to establish a good dental routine, and we can advise you in choosing the right toothbrush for your own particular needs.

Bristle texture – hard, medium or soft?

Choosing the Right Toothbrush | Dental TipsToothbrush bristles typically fall into three texture categories – hard – medium – soft. For most people, soft bristles are the right choice. This depends upon how vigorous you are when you brush, but hard bristles could damage the soft gingival tissues of the mouth if you are a vigorous brusher, and cause sensitivity.

Soft bristles are generally the safest and most comfortable to use, and should always be selected for children.

Head size and shape

Again, there is a huge range of toothbrush head sizes and types on the market. Choosing the right size and type is a personal thing, but as a general suggestion, the toothbrush head should fit comfortably in the mouth and be able to reach all the teeth.

Some modern toothbrushes have longer bristles located at the front of the head to enable easier cleaning of the back teeth, and some also have a rubber, grooved plate on the back of the head to make cleaning the tongue an integral part of the brushing process. These are useful additions to the toothbrush, but not always a necessity, particularly if you already have a good technique for reaching the back of the molars.

Children’s teeth require much smaller heads for clear reasons. They also need soft bristles to avoid damaging baby tooth enamel and the gums. Most manufacturers produce toothbrushes specifically for children and babies.

Handle

The handle of the toothbrush should be a comfortable length for you to hold firmly without it slipping. If you struggle holding your toothbrush, think about one with a rubberised handle to limit the chance of it slipping.

Cost

Although cost can often be a relevant factor, it does make sense to buy a well-branded toothbrush by a manufacturer that understands the importance of the toothbrush design. Buying the best that you can reasonably afford is probably the best way to go.

Our teeth can last a lifetime if properly cared for and monitored by regular check-ups at the dentist. Your dentist will always be the best person to recommend options for you when you are next ready for choosing the right toothbrush.

Do You Want a Whiter Smile? – Teeth Whitening Treatments

Teeth Whitening Treatments at Dental Excel | Cosmetic DentistryTeeth whitening treatments are amongst the most popular cosmetic dental procedures available today all around the world. Having a healthy-looking, bright white smile is near the top of the wish list for many people, and the latest treatments can bring about a remarkable physical transformation – fast and it won’t cost the Earth.

A person’s smile is the first impression they give to people they meet for the first time. Staining or discolouration of the teeth often takes away the intention to smile, or will inhibit the production of a natural broad smile or laugh. People who are conscious of their poor smile will likely hide their mouth behind their hand, supress a smile or turn away.

Having a healthy, white smile can provide a great boost to your confidence, and can make an impression on those around you.

What causes discoloured teeth?

Even if you adopt a regular dental care routine, there are still many factors that can lead to discolouration or staining of the teeth, most commonly:

  • Drinking red wine
  • Drinking tea and coffee
  • Foods with excess artificial colouring
  • Smoking
  • Illness
  • Medication

Boosting confidence and more with a whiter smile

Just knowing that your teeth look healthy, without stains or yellowing, can make a difference to your confidence immediately.

A recent study was conducted by Oral-B with 2,000 people participating. Amongst the most interesting responses were:

  • Whiter teeth can reduce your age appearance by up to five years
  • A whiter smile can make you 20% more attractive
  • White teeth can increase your chances of success in a job interview
  • Whiter smiles in the office can lead to better opportunities and pay

Although having a whiter smile won’t guarantee that you will get that job that you went for, find the partner or get you a pay rise, the increased confidence you feel after teeth whitening treatments always projects to those around you.

What is involved in professional teeth whitening treatments?

The practice of professional teeth whitening treatments by dentists is growing in popularity all over the world, for all kinds of reasons.

Here at Dental Excel, our teeth whitening service is a firm client favourite, and is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures we offer. Our treatments have been tried and tested, and are safe for your teeth and soft tissues of the mouth.

Following your consultation at one of our five locations, Dental Excel will make sure you are an ideal candidate for teeth whitening, and will advise you depending on your current dental health, and level of discolouration or staining.

Our experienced teeth whitening teams will make you comfortable in one of our dedicated patient lounges, and offer Zoom! teeth whitening system, which is our go-to solution, providing beautiful results within an hour. A UV light is applied during the treatment, and re-application of the gentle whitening gel can occur every 15 minutes or so, depending upon the level of treatment, as pre-determined by your Dental Excel dentist.

We can also help you to attain and maintain a whiter smile at home with our tray kits – ask us for more information.

Give us a call, or pop in to one of our Dental Excel locations in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast to find out more about our teeth whitening solutions.

How to Clean Your Tongue | Dental Blog

How to Clean Your Tongue

How to Clean Your Tongue | Dental BlogCleaning your tongue can be an important part of your dental hygiene routine, and can help to remove plaque and toxins from the mouth. When performed regularly, bacteria build-up is inhibited, bad breath is reduced, and some patients experience an enhanced sense of taste because of a clean tongue. Let’s take a look at how to clean your tongue and what tools are available to help you.

What should you use to clean your tongue?

There are a variety of tools available to clean your tongue, and we will look at those below, but a good result can be produced simply by using your current toothbrush and regular toothpaste, depending on the level of cleaning needed. Using a combination of tools, in addition to your toothbrush, can sometimes produce the best results.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to advise you about the best methods to employ, and tools to use.

Tongue brush – a tongue brush is often located on the back of the head of a good-quality toothbrush, and will appear as a series of soft, plastic ridges. You can buy a dedicated tongue brush too.

Tongue scraper – these are available in different materials, such as copper, stainless steel, plastic and silicone. Metal scrapers can be easily sterilised and generally last longer than those made of other materials.

How to clean your tongue

If using your toothbrush, or a dedicated tongue brush, simply give your tongue a soft brush from back to front in long, firm sweeping motions. If you are prone to gagging, you may need to give yourself some time to do this, as the gag reflex is often triggered at the back of the tongue.

When using a tongue scraper, work with light pressure, as you are aiming for a gentle scrape that removes the thin layer of plaque and mucus from the tongue. Exerting too much pressure at this stage could lead to soreness or bleeding. Most harmful bacteria live in the centre of the tongue, so focus more on this area with either tool of choice.

Finish off by rinsing with plain water or mouthwash.

You can repeat this procedure after every brush and floss, for the best results and a clean tongue, but a minimum of once a week should suffice to keep your mouth clean and fresh, and to reduce significantly the likelihood of bad breath.

Symptoms of Gum Disease | Dental Excel Blog

Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

Symptoms of Gum Disease | Dental Excel BlogGum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is more common than you might think.

In the US, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention data, one in two Americans over the age of 30 has some form (or stage) of gum disease.

As the early stages and symptoms of gum disease are often painless, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the most common symptoms.

Only then can you work towards prevention of a condition that can become progressively more serious if left to develop.

What causes gum disease?

Bacteria is constantly present in the mouth, and forms a colourless film over the teeth and gums called ‘plaque’. Plaque should be removed twice daily by brushing and flossing. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can transform into a hard substance called ‘tartar,’ which forms around the teeth and beneath the gum line. Once tartar has formed, it cannot be removed by simple brushing alone, and should be attended to by a dentist or hygienist professionally.

Although gum disease can be caused by a poor dental hygiene routine, there are other factors that can lead to the onset of periodontal issues, such as:

  • Smoking – smoking not only increases the risk of gum disease, but can also reduce the chance of successful treatment.
  • Diabetes – sufferers of diabetes find they have increased risk of infections.
  • Medication – one of the most common side-effects of certain prescription medications is the reduction of saliva production, which is a natural protector of the mouth tissues.
  • Hormonal changes – changes in hormone levels, particularly in women and girls, can lead to gum sensitivity and an increased risk of gingivitis* (see below).
  • Hereditary – some families are more prone to gum disease and other periodontal issues.

What to look for

The most common early warning signs of gum disease are easy to detect, and at this stage, less complicated to treat than at later stages when the bones that support the teeth can become affected. Therefore, it is important to understand the first signs of gum disease, so that you can address it quickly before it progresses. There are three main stages of gum disease, each carrying similar symptoms with varying degrees of severity. The most common signs to look for include:

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is one of the first signs that your teeth and gums are developing problems, and is a mild form of gum disease. Sufferers of gingivitis will find the gums growing redder, and likely to bleed when touched, brushed or flossed. Inflammation is usually mild, and in certain cases swelling of the gums around the teeth can occur.

Catching gum disease at this early stage can be addressed simply, with a scaling treatment at the dentist to remove tartar from the teeth, above and below the gum line, then the establishment of a good brushing and flossing routine to prevent re-occurrence.

Halitosis

Halitosis is a condition that is also known as bad breath. Prolonged periods of bad breath, sometimes accompanied by an unpleasant or metallic taste in the mouth, can be a good indication of gum disease in its early stages. There are many causes of halitosis, and sufferers may or may not be experiencing an early sign of gum disease. Your dentist will be able to confirm the cause and treatment of halitosis quickly and easily.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is not treated. This advanced stage can be identified by inflammation around the teeth, swelling and a bright red colour. During this stage, gums can become tender to the touch, and can begin to withdraw from the teeth, making them appear elongated.

Spaces can develop between the teeth, forming periodontal ‘pockets’ that can become filled with food and bacteria, leading to infection.

This stage of gum disease can cause damage to the soft periodontal tissues and can contribute to the loss or reduction of the bones that support the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth loss. Periodontitis should be addressed immediately by a dental professional.

Loose or misaligned teeth

Once gum disease has progressed to the later stages, the teeth may begin to feel loose. This is sometimes most obvious while eating. When the bones that support the teeth begin to suffer from infection, you may notice that your bite feels different when eating.

If you experience loose or misaligned teeth, it does not necessarily mean that you have late-stage gum disease, as there are other issues that could contribute to the problem, but a visit to your dentist will tell you all you need to know.

Should you experience any of these symptoms, a visit to your dentist is the best way to confirm the onset of gum disease. Generally, the progression of gum disease is slow, and attention in the earliest stages, such as gingivitis, can help to prevent the onset of more serious progression.

How Dental Excel can help with gum disease prevention

The friendly and professional teams at Dental Excel Caloundra, Beerwah, Bracken Ridge, Palmwoods and Wurtulla are experienced in the treatment of every stage of gum disease and are happy to support you in your journey to a healthy mouth and smile.

We also work proactively to help our patients of all ages establish a regular dental routine, which is by far the best way to tackle the issue of gum disease. We can help you to prevent the onset of periodontal problems, and can work with you to find the best options for you should you require further treatment.

Contact us today to make an appointment in one of our five dental practices local to you. With high-quality dentistry for all the family, and a range of opening times to suit your requirements, let Dental Excel help you to prevent gum disease, and keep your healthy smile for life.



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