The keystone of a great smile

Behind every great smile is a diligent dental hygiene routine. Dental decay and gum disease, the two main causes of tooth loss, are both caused by the acids given off by the bacteria that live in our mouths, so it’s very important to take the time and effort to keep these invisible critters at bay.

Dental Hygiene in BanburyIn themselves, the bacteria responsible for so much damage in our mouth are not harmful. They just love to feast on the sugars in our mouths. When sugar cane was introduced to the court of Queen Elizabeth 1 in the 1500s, no one knew it caused so much harm. Good Queen Bess was a raving sugar addict, had sugar at every meal and even used it to brush her teeth with. Her teeth all started to rot and turn black.

Now back in those days, the Queen was the leader of fashion, and everyone at court followed suit with the black teeth look, some using soot rubbed on their teeth to get a quick makeover.

Nowadays, we know that sugar is the main fuel for decay in the mouth, and we are advised to either avoid it as much as possible, or to brush it away after eating so that the bacteria is our mouths have less to feed on.

Dental hygiene is vital to keeping our teeth healthy. The bacteria that feed on sugars don’t just float around, they stick to our teeth, particularly in the crevices around the gum line and the grooves on the molars. Eat some really sugary food and give it an hour or two and you can actually feel ridges of bacteria developing and your teeth becoming furry-feeling.

Here at Amsel & Wilkins in Banbury, we recommend a twice yearly clean and polish with our hygienist. This may be more often if you are a smoker, have diabetes or are pregnant, because these three things can increase your chances of gum disease. Our hygienist will remove the tartar that has built up and give you advice on how to better clean your teeth. If you have clean teeth, you will hang onto them for longer with diligent dental hygiene in Banbury.

The foundation of good oral health

You may think that your mouth is home to just your teeth, gums tongue, and taste buds, but, you are in fact the home to millions of invisible citizens made of bacteria, who live there. They are meant to be there and don’t do any harm themselves.

Dental Hygiene in BanburyThese invisible critters feed on sugar and get to work on digesting any that are left in your mouth when you have been eating or drinking sugary drinks. If they have a good supply of sugars, they can rapidly breed and build up a layer of stickiness on your teeth. This film of bacteria is called plaque, and if it is not removed after about three days it hardens into something called tartar or calculus. While the bacteria themselves are harmless, the acids they give off are not.

What decay does

These acids can eat through the enamel that form the protective casing over your teeth, and once they have made a hole through to the dentin, other bacteria can get it and start to eat away, creating decay. This can get down into the pulp and nerves of the teeth, and that’s when you get toothache. It may be just decay, but if it gets infected as well, you may have to have root canal therapy. This is when the dentist has to clean the infection out from the root of your tooth, and then, when it is empty, fill it and seal it. You get to keep your tooth this way, and natural teeth are always better than replacement teeth.

Sometimes it’s not possible for us at Amsel & Wilkins in Banbury to save your tooth, and you will have to have it replaced with either a fixed bridge, a denture or a dental implant.

As you can see, each treatment is more invasive and more expensive. It’s going to be way cheaper to just practise good dental hygiene in Banbury, with twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, mouthwashes and interdental brushes. You should also come for a bi-annual check-up and get your teeth professionally cleaned and polished by the dental hygienist.