Healthy teeth


Your questions answered

How often should I have a ‘Check-Up’?

A 'Dental Check-Up' is actually a five point inspection of the health of your mouth. I will review your medical history (sometimes important), examine your teeth, examine your gums (this may involve taking some x-ray pictures), and examine the other oral structures (the early diagnosis of lumps and bumps in the mouth can be life-saving: don't worry, this is extremely rare). Take the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have. I can then advise you on how often you should have your teeth checked. Frequently tooth and gum problems only cause pain and discomfort late on. Early diagnosis and intervention means easier, quicker, and cheaper treatment.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?

Bleeding gums are usually a sign that you have gum disease. In it's simplest form, gum disease can be easily cured by better cleaning of the teeth. More advanced gum disease leads to loose uncomfortable teeth, bad breath, and eventually pain and tooth loss. Fortunately modern dental treatment can stop or slow down the process.

I've got some unsightly marks on my front teeth. What can I do?

There are many solutions to this problem, depending on the cause. Possible steps include bleaching, abrading, replacing stained fillings, veneering, or crowning the affected teeth. I can advise you on the best treatment to take.

What kind of foods should I avoid?

Sugary snacks like sweets, lozenges, biscuits and cakes, are the obvious ones. Drinks with sugar such as soft drinks, fruit juice, coffee or tea when taken with sugar are also not good. Did you know that a large cola has 22 teaspoons of sugar? It’s full of acid too, which is really bad for teeth. A cup of juice is healthier, but still has 6-8 teaspoons. The worst snacks are those you suck on for a long time, such as mints. Even “healthy” snacks like health food fruit bars and dried fruit contain high levels of sugar.

What do I do if I don’t want to give up eating sweet foods?

If you really want to look after your teeth the best thing to do is include them with your main meals rather than the snacks in between.

What are the best kind of foods to eat as snacks to protect my teeth?

Most dairy products, fresh fruit (not dried) and vegetables are fine to have as snacks. Things like meat and cheese are good too. You can drink water, milk, coffee or tea unsweetened or with sugar substitute, and watered-down juices in moderation. Diet soft drinks and sugarless gum can be ok as long as they don’t contain any acid. 

How long does it take my saliva to stop the acid dissolving my teeth?

It takes about 2 hours after having anything with sugar for your teeth to stop acid attacking your teeth. So, if you have three meals a day and nothing in between, your teeth can dissolve for six hours a day. However, for most people this is a level their teeth can cope with.