Home care

1. My gums bleed when I brush. Does that mean I have gum disease?

Bleeding indicates that there is a problem with your gums. They bleed because they are inflamed. This may be only superficial (gingivitis), or could be deeper, more serious gum disease (periodontitis).  In either case, you need to have tour gums assessed by one of our dentists and treated by him/her or our dental hygienist

2. Which is the best toothpaste?

The most important ingredient in toothpaste is Fluoride. Some have more than others and what is best for you will depend on your situation.  You will need to discuss this with the dentist or dental hygienist at your appointment. People with sensitive teeth benefit from using sensitive tooth toothpaste. Those who suffer from a dry mouth may benefit from dry mouth toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes do little more than regular fluoride toothpaste.

3. Which is the best toothbrush?

For many people using a manual toothbrush with a smallish compact head and soft bristles thoroughly is the best option.  However, there is evidence that most people will many people actually remove more with an electric brush, either because they do not spend enough time or they are not very dexterous – particularly the very young or those suffering from arthritis or similar conditions. If you are going to buy an electric brush, buy a better one. We can discuss this with you at your appointment.

4. Should I use a mouth rinse?

While there is evidence that using proprietary mouth rinses reduce the amount of plaque, mouth rinses alone are not sufficient for cleaning your teeth. Regular tooth brushing and flossing/interdental brushing is much more important. We do, however, recommend different mouth rinses in particular situations.  We can discuss this further with you at your appointment.

5. Can flossing create gaps between your teeth?

No. Gum disease damages the bone around your teeth and creates spaces.  After brushing and flossing well for a few weeks, swollen gums shrink back to a normal thickness and this exposes the teeth more, giving the illusion that the flossing caused the gaps, but in reality it was the original disease that was the cause.

6. What should I do after I have had a tooth out?

We will give you instructions at the surgery.  However, in general, for the first 24 hours you should:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid hot food and drink

Expect some bleeding and using the cotton gauzes provided bite firmly together for 20-30 minutes as required when it bleeds excessively.

Take any pain killers and antibiotics recommended &/or prescribed by the dentist.

Gently rinse with lukewarm salt water every few hours, from about 3 hours after the extraction.