Having perfectly straight pearly whites counts for nothing if you’re not looking after your teeth properly. So much importance is placed on cosmetic dentistry, but gum disease (which can lead to tooth loss) is found in 15 to 20% of adults aged between 35 and 44. We asked dentist Dr Milad Shadrooh what the experts use on their teeth to keep decay at bay.
Ever wondered what dentists use on their teeth? Keep reading to find out:
How often should you visit the dentist/hygienist?
‘You should visit your dentist regularly, as we can spot issues before they become a problem and things begin to hurt, because at that point you have limited treatment options. I would recommend at least once a year as a minimum, but twice a year is what you should aim for. Book in with the hygienist every six months, too – some patients come in every six weeks,’ advises Dr Shadrooh.
How do I preventing bleeding gums?
‘Make sure you’re brushing effectively twice a day and cleaning between your teeth using floss. If your gums are still causing an issue, book in with your dentist stat. Having regular scale and polish appointments will help combat gum disease in the long run.’
Which toothbrush should I use?
‘I recommend an electric toothbrush as it gets into harder-to-reach places, and the allotted time makes sure you’re brushing for long enough. It’s proven that for a more thorough clean you must brush for two minutes, as per the timer on most electric toothbrushes.’
How often should I floss, and should I use rolls or picks?
‘You need to clean interdentally at least once a day. I recommend floss picks for those with small gaps in-between their teeth. If you have larger gaps, rather use interdental brushes, like Dentalmate Interdental Brushes, R39.95, Dis-Chem. Using a floss pick, rather than roll floss, makes it easier and quicker. Try to choose a fluoride-coated product for maximum, long-lasting protection – try G.U.M Easy Flossers, R49.95, Dis-Chem.
Which toothpaste is best?
‘It really doesn’t matter what brand, as long as it contains fluoride. Fluoride stops early cavities from progressing and helps to strengthen the surface of teeth.’
Read more: How to get rid of bad breath – 3 easy ways
What about mouthwash?
‘Mouthwash can be used for specific things like bad breath, but not as a replacement for brushing and flossing. Use it alongside a brushing and interdental cleaning routine. If you suffer from bad breath, you need one that targets the bacteria that causes it, not just one that masks it. Up to 90% of bad breath comes from the bacteria on your tongue, so the best way to get rid of it is with an ayurvedic tongue cleaner.’
How can I stop my teeth from being so sensitive?
‘Sensitivity can often be caused by an exposed nerve, which means something more serious could be at play underneath the tooth’s surface – definitely see your dentist. If nothing’s amiss toothpaste with potassium nitrate may help your plight – try using Sensodyne Rapid Relief Toothpaste, R47,95, Dis-Chem.