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Latest news and articles from the Headstone Lane Dental team. If there’s something you think we should cover please email us at [email protected]


20/Aug/2020

Do you know your canines from your crowns? Can you tell your molars from your premolars? If you can’t, then don’t worry; in this post, we’ll go over these types of teeth as well as some of the other parts of your mouth. So if you didn’t pay enough attention to Science during school, now’s the time to catch up!

Types of teeth

  • Incisors. These are your front teeth. You have four incisors in your top jaw and four more in your bottom jaw. They’re frequently described as “chisel shaped” because they’re sharp, although you could also think of them as little knives, because their role is to cut the food that you eat.
  • Canines. No, we’re not talking about dogs; we’re talking about the teeth next to your incisors. They’re shaped like points, making them useful for tearing food. Dracula had large canines, as do most carnivores.
  • Premolars. These are the teeth next to your canines. We each have eight premolars: two in each jaw on each side of the mouth. Premolars are basically a hybrid between canines and molars; they’re good at grinding food and they’re also good for tearing too.
  • Molars. These are the teeth at the back of your mouth. They’re large and relatively flat, making them good for chewing. We each have twelve molars: three in each jaw on each side of the mouth. The third molar is commonly called the wisdom tooth, and it’s this tooth that often causes the most trouble.

Parts of your teeth

  • Enamel. Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. It’s extremely hard and durable, allowing your teeth to last a lifetime. However, your enamel is also susceptible to decay from bacteria, which is why it’s important to brush and floss regularly.
  • Dentin. Underneath the enamel layer is a layer called dentin. Dentin is made of living tissue. It communicates with the nerves in your teeth to tell you when you should be feeling pain.
  • Pulp. The pulp is the soft centre of the tooth. It’s where the blood vessels and nerves are found. If decay reaches your pulp then you may need a root canal, which is all the more reason to look after your teeth properly!
  • Root. The root is the part of the tooth that keeps your tooth held firmly in place in your jaw.

Other parts of your mouth

  • Gums. Your gums are made of soft tissue and they serve as a barrier to protect the tissue underneath. They also surround your teeth and provide a tight seal around them. Healthy gums are usually a coral pink colour, so red gums can be a sign of early gum disease.
  • Gum line. This is the line where your teeth and gums meet. It’s also the place where plaque often builds up if you’re not careful, which can lead to gum disease.

Conclusion

As you’ve seen, your mouth is full of different parts, all of which work together to help you to eat, talk and smile. Hopefully, you have a new appreciation for your teeth and you’ll look after them to keep them safe and healthy!


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20/Aug/2020

People can catch the flu at any time of the year. When it happens to you, all you’ll want to do is rest in bed until you’re better. Your dental health will probably be the last thing on your mind.

However, taking care of your teeth is important, especially when you’re sick. Did you know there are a few simple things you can do when you’re ill to take care of your oral health? Read on to find out more.

Stay hydrated

Remember to drink plenty of fluids when you’re sick. This will keep you hydrated and will also prevent dry mouth, a condition that can put you at a greater risk of cavities.

Pick the right fluids

What type of beverage is best when you’re ill? The answer isn’t that surprising: it’s water. In fact, water is the best beverage even when you’re not sick. That’s because it has a neutral pH that reduces acidity in your mouth. And of course, water is also sugar-free.

You might be tempted to chug down cup after cup of tea to warm you up. This can help you feel better, but do keep in mind that tea can stain your teeth when you drink it every day.

Don’t add sugar or lemon to your fluids

You might think that a spoon of sugar or a slice of lemon in your drink will help you get better. The truth is that it’s bad for your teeth: sugar can cause cavities while lemon is acidic.

Buy sugar-free cough drops

Cough drops are a good idea when you’re sick because they help to prevent dry mouth. But do make sure you buy the sugar-free versions of cough drops. This is because regular cough drops contain around three to four grams of sugar, which is the same amount as many types of sweets! The sugar in them will simply feed the bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque and decay. So remember – sugar-free is the way to go.

Don’t share your toothbrush

When you brush your teeth, you leave behind tiny droplets of saliva on your toothbrush that contain the flu virus. The flu virus can then live on your toothbrush for up to 72 hours. If someone else were to use your toothbrush, there is a very high chance they would contract the virus and fall sick as well. So if you have the flu, then don’t let anyone else use your toothbrush. Toothbrush sharing helps the flu virus to spread.

Don’t brush your teeth after vomiting

One unpleasant symptom of the flu is vomiting. Did you know that when you vomit, your stomach acids come into contact with your teeth and temporarily make them vulnerable? This is why it’s important not to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. Brushing your teeth at this point could wear some of your enamel away. So instead of brushing, simply rinse your mouth with water and then wait for half an hour before brushing.


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20/Aug/2020

Your toothbrush and toothpaste are the cornerstone of your dental hygiene routine. They’re also the key for avoiding dental problems. Therefore, you want to make sure that you’re using a good toothpaste.

But there’s so many different kinds of toothpaste on the market that it’s almost impossible to know which one is the best. There’s whitening toothpaste, anti-cavity toothpaste, toothpaste designed to protect your gums, toothpaste for sensitive teeth, flavoured toothpaste… the list goes on. So in this post, we’ll clear up the confusion and help you to decide which toothpaste is right for you.

 

Which toothpaste is best?

The truth is that there is no one best toothpaste. Instead, you need to choose a toothpaste that best suits your own individual needs. This means the best toothpaste for you might not be the best toothpaste for your partner or your children.

 

So how do I decide which toothpaste is right for me?

To find the toothpaste best suited to your needs, you first need to decice what your needs are. Do you want to whiten your teeth? Do you want to take extra precautions against cavities? Or do you need a toothpaste that’s kind on your sensitive teeth?

If you frequently suffer from cavities, then you should choose a toothpaste high in fluoride and calcium. These two minerals help to prevent cavities by strengthening enamel. Ideally, you should choose a toothpaste with a fluoride level of 1,450 ppm or higher.

If you have diabetes, then you’ll also need a toothpaste high in fluoride. This is because diabetics are at a higher risk of a mouth infection than the general population.

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, then you should avoid whitening toothpaste. This is because whitening toothpaste contains aggressive abrasives that can damage your enamel and make your teeth even more sensitive. Manufacturers of whitening toothpastes include these abrasives because they’re supposed to polish the surface of your teeth and remove surface stains. However, the abrasives can also cause your teeth to become more sensitive. For this reason, if you have sensitive teeth, your best option is to look for a toothpaste that regenerates your enamel instead of wearing your enamel down

If it’s whiter teeth you’re after, the best option is to undergo a teeth whitening treatment at a dental clinic. We don’t recommend whitening toothpaste because the effects doesn’t last long and people are rarely happy with the results. What’s more, whitening toothpaste contains aggressive abrasives that wear down your enamel over time.

If you suffer from inflamed or bleeding gums, then you should opt for a toothpaste especially designed to combat gingivitis.

Children under the age of three should avoid toothpaste high in fluoride. You should also only use a small smear of toothpaste to clean their teeth.

Children over the age of three can use adult toothpaste, as long as they use no more than a pea-sized amount at a time. Some toothpastes are flavoured and this can be a good way to get kids enthusiastic about brushing their teeth. Let your children choose a flavour they like, such as strawberry or bubble-gum. Just make sure that your children understand they’re not meant to swallow the toothpaste.

 

Still have questions?

If you’d like to discuss any dental issue with us, whether it’s toothpaste or anything else, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a member of our friendly dental team.


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20/Aug/2020

Sometimes when you look in the mirror, you might notice stains on your teeth that you didn’t have before. Where do these stains come from? In this month’s blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of teeth stains as well as what you can do to avoid stains in the future.

What causes teeth stains?

The causes of teeth stains include:

  • Smoking is one of the main causes of stains due to the high level of chemicals in cigarettes.
  • Coffee is another major cause of teeth stains. This is because coffee contains dark-coloured pigments that can easily become embedded in the ridges and cracks of your teeth.
  • Certain foods and drinks, such as red wine, blueberries, beets, soy sauce and curries, can stain your teeth.
  • Aging can make your teeth yellow. This is because our enamel becomes thinner as we age. This exposes the underlying dentin, which is a yellow colour. Although age-related discoloration isn’t technically a stain, it can still be disheartening to see your teeth becoming yellow as you get older.

Tips to avoid stains on your teeth

To avoid teeth stains, take these tips into consideration.

  • Keep your teeth clean. It’s advisable to brush your teeth at least twice times a day and, if possible, with an electric toothbrush.
  • Use a soft toothbrush. The use of a toothbrush with hard bristles can prematurely wear down the enamel on your teeth, which in turn makes the yellow dentin underneath more visible.
  • Use floss. Teeth often get stained on the sides, which is due to plaque that builds up on the surface on the teeth. The daily use of floss will help prevent plaque from accumulating on your teeth and will therefore help to prevent stains.
  • Stop smoking. It’s not easy, but giving up smoking will improve your smile and prevent you fromgetting smoker’s teeth.
  • Control your diet. Reducing your consumption of certain foods and drinks will help reduce stains. These include tea, coffee, and wine.
  • Drink with a straw. Drinking soft drinks, smoothies and fruit juices through a straw reduces your exposure to the staining substances in drinks.
  • Get your teeth cleaned regularly. A professional teeth cleaning is an excellent way to remove stains and keep your mouth clean and healthy. For that reason, we recommend that you get your teeth cleaned regularly by your dentist.
  • Avoid abrasion. Some people recommend brushing your teeth with baking soda as a way to remove stains and whiten your teeth. However, this is actually counter-productive, because baking soda is abrasive and will damage your enamel. This in turn will make your teeth yellow in the long-term because it makes the underlying dentin more visible. We also don’t recommend whitening toothpaste, as it can also damage your enamel.

What can I do about stains on my teeth?

Often, staining pigments become so embedded into your teeth that you can’t remove them by brushing. If this is the case, a dentist can perform a professional cleaning of your teeth to remove food and drinks stains. Contact us if this is something your interested in.

Do keep in mind that even the healthiest teeth are not always 100{f3cbf6ee4c2bf74284ff645d919e2d7444bc2ff84a9815f68a7ec3cea6db0d23} white. If you’re after white teeth, then you might want to consider a bleaching treatment. Bleaching brightens your teeth beyond their natural colour. This is also a service we offer at Headstone Lane Dental.

So, if you’ve noticed new stains on your teeth and you want to get rid of them, get in touch with Headstone Lane Dental. Our team of professionals will be more than happy to help you.