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Brush, Swish, Spit

Brush, Swish, Spit

Are you supposed to rinse after tooth-brushing?” In almost every case, the answer is “No!” Leaving a coating of toothpaste on your teeth for as long as possible will make your teeth much stronger.

Rinsing with water after brushing is bad for your teeth – it washes away the protective fluoride from the toothpaste left behind after brushing. Fluoride toothpaste strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay and cavities. Fluoride also repairs weak spots. Spitting instead of rinsing ensures that the fluoride will be more effective, as the fluoride will remain on your teeth much longer than just for the two minutes that you are brushing.

You should brush your teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste twice a day. The night brush just before bed is the most important. It allows your teeth to get the benefit of your fluoride toothpaste for many hours, if you don’t rinse, eat or drink after brushing.

Remember, have a drink BEFORE you brush your teeth, not after.

  • BRUSH for at least two minutes. Save the toothpaste foam in your mouth – don’t spit any out.
  • Close your mouth and SWISH the mixture of tooth paste and saliva around your mouth, forcing it all over and in between your teeth. Pump the toothpaste foam between your cheeks and lips for 20 times, or for about one minute. Swishing will increase your saliva flow. Saliva contains calcium which is also great for teeth.
  • Then SPIT out the excess toothpaste foam.

If you BRUSH, SWISH, SPIT, and don’t rinse, you will double your protection against tooth decay and cavities.


Grinding your teeth?

Grinding teeth, also known as “bruxism” can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw. It can wear the teeth down and cause severe headaches and even earache in some people.  I have often seen patients come in to the surgery with fractured fillings and broken teeth as a result of this habit.

Lots of people are not aware that they do this, as it happens predominantly in our sleep. Lifestyle it seems, according to research is a big factor. If you are anxious or constantly stressed, grinding your teeth in your sleep may happen subconsciously. By looking at your situation in life, it may be possible to stop grinding your teeth. High levels of stress at work have a real negative effect generally on our health.

Behavioural therapies and the use of mouth guards or mouth splints are recommended treatments for bruxism. Other treatments, such as muscle-relaxation exercises and sleep hygiene may also help manage your symptoms.

If you have an anxiety or stress-related problem, a course of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be recommended. CBT aims to manage your problems by changing how you think and act. It may be possible to break the habit of teeth grinding using habit-reversal techniques.

Making some simple lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking (if you smoke), reducing your alcohol consumption and managing stress may also be very beneficial.

Why not make some changes if you recognise any of the above symptoms……

We would like to share some news with the local community…..Our lovely Nurse Kim is travelling to Kenya in June with the charity Dentaid, to help provide emergency treatment to areas with no dental facilities. We are selling second hand books, as well as making cakes regularly to raise funds to help her. Please feel free to pop in, even if you are not registered with us to have a browse.  All welcome.




Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety


Lots of us have heard about anxiety. Some of us may know colleagues or friends and family that suffer from this, or may have even suffered themselves. When we become anxious, our body responds in several ways.  We experience sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, stomach cramps, irritability and much more. Anxiety may stem from a past issue, learnt behaviour, a phobia, or simply that we are frightened of a situation.  Sometimes it can be life’s pressures and expectations of scenarios rather than facts. We start to feel uneasy and concerned.  All of this takes a toll on our body. Dental anxiety is so common.  Here at Gedling Dental, we have lots of patients who have dental anxiety and so we decided a long time ago that we would like to make things easier for you.


What we offer to combat this

  • We listen and always give you the choice with treatment
  • The Practice is calm
  • We keep clinical smells to a minimum by using essential oils in diffusers
  • Our time slots are tailored to your requirements
  • Bring your earphones
  • The staff understand how to support you
  • We never judge
  • We offer relative analgesia (ask for details)


What you can do

  • Try and relax – be conscious of your breathing
  • Attend your appointment, routine helps
  • Don’t avoid facing your fear
  • Learn to trust us by taking that first step
  • Replace negatives with positives with help from us
  • Talk to us, this is important
  • “What if” is not helpful. By talking to us we can give you the facts rather than let your mind wander.


Come and see us – even if initially you would like a chat and a cuppa. We offer free WiFi and complementary drinks.

So what if my gums bleed?

Gum bleeding is a very common symptom in the vast majority of my patients. Most of the time it’s ignored or put down to brushing too hard. However there are times when it could be a sign of more serious problems. Gum bleeding could be a sign of periodontal disease which is a more aggressive form of gum disease. In the past it was known as Pyorrhea and often lead to tooth loss. Unfortunately we now know that it can also lead to other problems a lot more serious than simply having a gappy smile.


It is thought that both conditions work hand in hand almost egging each other on. Current research shows that people with periodontal disease may find it more difficult to control their blood sugar levels. Conversely if you have Diabetes you’re more likely to develop periodontal disease.

Heart Disease:

Though further research need to be undertaken, it is thought that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease leading to heart attacks and other coronary problems. This is particularly true in men.

Respiratory Disease:

Researchers have found that the bugs & germs responsible for periodontal disease can be breathed in to the lungs causing pneumonia and other respiratory conditions.


Researchers found that men with gum disease were 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
So next time you spit blood after brushing why not give your dentist a ring – you could be doing your general health a big favour.



My teeth are chipping away!

Although teeth are the hardest parts of our bodies, they do have one weakness: they can be easily destroyed by acid. Acid is the weapon of choice that plaque uses to ruin our teeth and it can be found in many of the drinks that we consume.

We measure acidity using the pH scale. The smaller the pH number the more acidic the drink. As an example, a drink with a pH of 2.0 is a lot more acidic and therefore more damaging, than a drink with a pH of 4.0. Any drink that has a pH of 5.5 or less can dissolve enamel. Below I have listed the pH of some common drinks:

pH pH
Sunny Delight 2.4 Grapefruit Juice 3.1
Coca Cola/Pepsi (including diet versions) 2.5 Apple Juice 3.2
Capri Sun 2.6 Pineapple Juice 3.4
Dr Pepper 2.7 Californian Chardonnay 3.4
Powerade 2.75 Orange Juice 3.5


Signs of Tooth Erosion

There is never one single sign that your teeth are dissolving but I generally look for the following:

• Chipping or thinning of the enamel
• Cupping or hollowing of the biting surface of the tooth
• Fillings standing proud of the tooth

Are there any drinks that won’t dissolve my teeth?

Generally any drink that has a pH of around 7.0 will not dissolve teeth. So milk, tea, some coffees and of course water, will be kinder to teeth than drinks mentioned in the table above.

Here’s a few tips you can use to reduce tooth erosion:

• Don’t slowly sip acidic drinks. If you are going to drink an acidic drink, do it as quickly as possible to decrease the contact time with your teeth.

• Drink acidic drinks through a straw. By using a straw, you are pushing the drinks directly to the back of your mouth and avoiding some of the contact that the acid has with your teeth.

• Rinse your mouth out after drinking acidic drinks to help flush away some of the harmful acid. Drinking water or milk can help.

• Don’t brush your teeth right after consuming acidic beverages. The acid in the drinks can eat away some of the mineral content of your teeth, leaving behind a soft matrix. Calcium in your saliva can eventually replace the lost tooth structure. However, if you brush right after consuming acidic drinks, you could brush away that enamel matrix, making it impossible for your saliva to repair the damage done by the acidic drink.

• Remember you don’t have to avoid the drinks I’ve mentioned above, just drink them in moderation.



Your gums and your diet.

It is often said “you are what you eat.” Many people know this simple saying holds a grain of truth. At the practice we are constantly reminding patients of the effects of a high sugar diet causing cavities in their teeth. What may not be so widely known is a poor diet can also affect your gums and the rest of your mouth. Your gums are the bedrock to your teeth. Without healthy gums it doesn’t really matter how gleaming white your teeth may be, they will eventually loosen and fall out. Unfortunately gum disease is a very common but under reported condition. In the last adult dental health survey dated 2009 it was revealed that only 17% of the UK population had healthy gums; the remaining 83% had some form of gum disease.

Gum disease can be caused by a host of factors and not necessarily by patients simply not cleaning thoroughly. Smoking, diabetes, stress and possibly hereditary factors affect the health of the gums. However your diet can also have a role to play in healthy gums and also the general wellbeing of your mouth:
Iron: lack of iron can cause anaemia leading to gum bleeding, a sore tongue, mouth ulcers and possibly burning mouth syndrome. Iron is found in meat, liver, dried apricots, roasted pumpkin & squash seeds as well as sunflower seeds.

Vitamin C: lack of this can lead to mouth ulcers and gum bleeding. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, chilli peppers and guava

Vitamin D & Calcium: necessary for healthy bones. Vitamin D is found in cod liver oil, oily fish and fortified cereals. Calcium is present in cheese and milk products
as well as almonds and sesame seeds

Vitamin B1, B2, B3 & B12: all of these are necessary for preventing a sore mouth and ulceration. All these vitamins can be found in yeast extract (Marmite), liver, fish, bran, sesame and sunflower seeds.

So next time you’re in the supermarket have a look at what you’re putting in the basket and see if “you reallyare what you eat.”


Your general health and your oral health

If you have visited your dentist recently you probably had to fill in a health questionnaire. It will ask about whether you have any medical conditions and if you take tablets. Many patients simply accept that this is part and parcel of visiting the dentist and think nothing more. However there are many aspects of your general health that can affect your oral health:

Blood Pressure & epilepsy: Some of the tablets prescribed to control these conditions can also inflame the gums causing bleeding and bad breath

Excess stomach acid/heartburn: if you suffer from excess stomach acids there may be a risk of tooth erosion caused by regurgitation. This can lead to wear and chipping of your teeth

Osteoporosis: certain drugs prescribed for this  condition can cause problems with healing following  tooth extraction.

So inspite of the fact you may have filled the same forms many times before, hopefully you’ll see the influence of your general health on your oral health and why its important for your dentist to know what medicines your taking.

Help I’ve knocked out my tooth!

The days are getting warmer and the promise of summer is now a reality. This year we also have a  summer of sport to look forward to with the arrival of the Olympics. This reminds me of many years ago when I had to see a young boy who had suffered a nasty blow to the face playing cricket. He had completely knocked out his front tooth. Fortunately his parents had found the tooth and managed to bring him to the practice to have it re-implanted. It was only their quick thinking that managed to save his smile. So if you find yourself in a similar situation please bear in mind the following points.

• Find the tooth as quickly as you can.
• Don’t touch the root of the tooth (the pointed end)
but hold it from the crown.
• Don’t wrap it in tissue or a handkerchief – it will
dry out.
• If possible store it in milk.
• Get to a dentist as quickly as you can…..

What is the best toothpaste to use?

Q & A with Gedling Dental

In the course of a busy day my patients often ask me about how best to look after their teeth.

Here are a number of questions that are most frequently asked:

What is the best toothpaste to use?

Generally any toothpaste that contains fluoride is beneficial to teeth. Fluoride has been proven to help prevent decay and since its introduction the number of cavities seen has dropped by 30%. If you ever read the packet, adult toothpaste contain approximately 1450 ppm (parts per million) of fluoride which will provide sufficient protection from cavities. Childrens’ toothpaste contains less fluoride as there is a tendency for swallowing the paste after brushing – generally 1000 ppm. Herbal toothpastes can also be used but they often lack the protective benefit of fluoride so you have to ensure that your diet is well controlled to prevent cavities from starting.

My teeth are stained – what toothpaste should I be using?

Staining can occur for a number of reasons. Crooked teeth, smoking, drinking lots of tea/coffee or red wine and our diet in general can all lead to staining. Most toothpastes will be able to remove some staining whilst others may have special cleaning agents such as bicarbonate of soda which will make them particularly effective at cleaning without damaging your teeth. However bicarbonate of soda toothpaste can leave a gritty feeling which is not to everyone’s taste

My teeth are sensitive – which toothpaste should I be using?

Sensitivity can occur for a number of reasons and it’s important to ensure it’s not due to a cavity. If however your dentist has not found a hole then desensitizing toothpastes can prove to be useful. They work by blocking the small pores found on the roots that lead to the nerve. There are several brands on the market, the original being Sensodyne, but they have to be used regularly to see any benefit. I often tell my patients to rub the toothpaste in to the affected teeth and leave it there in order to gain maximum benefit.

Are electric toothbrushes any good?

Like any tool, an electric toothbrush is only as good as the person who uses it. However many patients swear by them and research shows that they can leave your teeth cleaner than manual toothbrushes. There are many different ones on the market but electric toothbrushes with rotating, oscillating heads are very effective, as are the newer sonic types.

Which toothpaste will whiten my teeth?

Sadly there is not a toothpaste on the market that will make your teeth appear whiter in spite of what they may claim. Most will be able to lift stains but none will change the underlying colour. If it’s a bright white smile you would like then you’ll have to have a chat with your dentist. Here at Gedling Dental we provide a variety of ways to give you the smile you are after.

Article – NG4 Magazine

How healthy is your diet?

Hopefully, if you’re reading this you have a general interest in what you’re eating. You probably already know that a healthy diet is well balanced and includes 5
portions of fruit & vegetables. However there will be some readers who feel the more fruit they eat, the more healthy they will become…….not necessarily so. Certain fruits
are quite acidic e.g. oranges, lemons, grapefruit and if eaten in large quantities are capable of dissolving teeth.

I have often seen patients with flattened, hollowed teeth. Other times patients come in complaining their teeth are chipping or becoming sensitive. All of these problems can
be due to enamel dissolving away (or erosion in dentist terms). And as we keep our teeth for longer, it’s an ever increasing problem.

Here are few tips on how to avoid the problem:

• Don’t brush immediately after eating citrus fruits – you will brush away the weakened enamel and hasten the erosive process. The same applies after drinking fruit

• After brushing spit but don’t rinse. The proven benefit of fluoride in the toothpaste will get washed away if you rinse. You’ll be doing your teeth a bigger favour by simply spitting out and walking away.

• Use a fluoride mouthwash, but not after brushing. If you can, use it at a different time of the day to maximise its benefit

• Eat cheese or drink milk after eating fruit to neutralise the acids. You can also chew gum as long as its sugar free.

• Don’t slosh fruit juice around your mouth – it quickens the dissolving process.

• Use a straw to drink fruit juices – it avoids acids touching your teeth.

Have a word with your dentist if you have any concerns. And if you don’t have a dentist, why don’t you give us a ring – 0115 9611764