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You don’t want breath like a camel do you?

bad breathAre you covering your mouth with your hand when you talk in fear of your friends having to look the other way? Sounds like you have bad breath (aka Halitosis) but we can help you with our daily tips towards healthy breath!

What causes bad breath?

There can be several causes of bad breath. Often it can be prevented by good oral hygiene but sometimes your mouth is trying to tell you something which can require medical intervention. So it is important to work out what is causing your breath to smell badly, check out our tips below. If you’re unsure make an appointment to see one of our dentists and they can help you work out a plan.

Our top ten tips for good oral hygiene:

  1. Brushing twice a day with a good fluoride toothpaste. Brushing your teeth before you go to bed is especially important.
  2. Use a non-alcoholic mouthwash at a different time to brushing or at least 30 minutes afterwards. Keep in mind that if a dental problem is the cause of chronic bad breath, a mouth rinse will only mask the odour and not cure it.
  3. Floss or use an interdental brush, daily. Plaque builds up on your teeth and collects bacteria that causes bad breath.
  4. Don’t forget your tongue! Use your toothbrush to brush your tongue to remove any residue between the taste buds and folds in the tongue.
  5. Visit your dentist. If you have chronic bad breath you should visit your dentist first. This will rule out if the bad breath is from a systemic (internal) source such as an infection or diabetes.
  6. Book regular check-ups at The Boathouse, normally every six months. During an examination, the dentist checks not just your teeth but inside your mouth, gums and tongue. So will spot anything untoward that you can treat or prevent worsening. These are particularly vital if you have a medical condition that can affect your oral health or undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy as you’re more prone to bad breath.
  7. If you wear dentures or removal braces clean these daily to remove food debris.
  8. Water, water! Drink regularly during the day.
  9. Food glorious food! Think about what you eat – onions, garlic, curries and strong flavours will reflect in your breath. Don’t miss meals. An empty stomach can cause bad breath due to acid build up in the stomach. At least munch on a carrot, apple or celery stick. Fresh fruit and vegetables increase your saliva flow which helps wash away bacteria within your mouth that can cause bad breath.
  10. Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products. Tobacco can dry out your mouth and leave an unpleasant smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth. So another reason to give up!

The Boathouse team want you to look after your teeth and gums and prevent problems occurring so if you haven’t had an examination in the last six months please give us a call. It can not only help your mouth but your bank balance!

Simple Steps to a Perfect Smile: Fluoride

flouride in waterFluoride is a mineral found in many types of toothpaste and often naturally occurring in low concentrations in water. Everyday, minerals such as flouride are lost and gained from the enamel (the outer layer of teeth); in processes know as demineralisation and remineralisation. The acids formed during eating are what trigger the demineralisation process which can lead to tooth decay and formation of cavities.

Tooth decay is a major health concern worldwide and is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission of children in the UK.

Fortunately, this disease is entirely avoidable with a healthy diet and good oral health regime. This is where the use of fluoride comes in! When fluoride is used topically in both toothpastes and mouth rinses it helps speed up the remineralisation process, helping balance out the negative combined effects of plaque and the consumption of sugary foods.

How much flouride do you need?

The majority of toothpastes sold in the UK contain the advised amount of fluoride, as recommended by The Department of Health. It is useful to be aware of the correct amount of fluoride needed for your age category and the best way to use it in order to reap the benefits. The concentration of fluoride can be found in bold within the ingredients on the back of any tube of toothpaste.

To receive the full effects of the fluoride in toothpaste, it is important, once you have finished brushing your teeth to, “Spit Don’t Rinse”, this way you spit out any excess toothpaste whilst still leaving a film of fluoride over the enamel – giving it a chance to do its thing!

Below are the recommended guidelines for fluoride use with regards to different age categories.

  • Under 3 years: Brush at least twice per day using a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • 3-6 years: Brush at least twice per day using a pea sized amount toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • Any age over 6: Brush at least twice per day using toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride.
Size of toothpaste on brush

Figure 1: The difference between a smear and pea sized amount of toothpaste

Only approximately 10% of the population of the UK is supplied with optimally fluoridated water, whether naturally occurring or artificially added. If you do not receive fluoridated water it is even more important to ensure that you are receiving the ideal amount of fluoride topically through tooth brushing. To check the water quality in Goring and Streatley please visit the Thames Water website.

Checking that you and your family are using the correct concentration of fluoride toothpaste is an easy way of keeping your tooth enamel as strong as possible and it plays a major role in preventing tooth decay. I hope you find this article useful and I’m happy to offer further advice on your next hygienist visit.

Emily Pontin
Dental Hygienist

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This website is operated by The Boathouse Dental Surgery Limited, which is registered and incorporated in England and Wales, registered no. 9306311. Its registered office is at 8 King Edward Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4HL.