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We answer the most searched Dental Health Questions for National Dentists Day

As more and more people in the UK are struggling to get a dentist appointment, more are turning to Dr Google to find the answers to their dental queries. But with endless answers out there, it is getting increasingly more difficult to sift out the information you can trust from the ones you simply can’t. At the Dental Law Partnership, we have knowledge at our fingertips – with a team of in-house professional dental and legal experts, who are always happy to advise and have answered the most googled dentistry questions for National Dentists Day.

Our dental experts will see you now…

1. What Are the Best Ways to Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home?
We recommend you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for about 2 minutes, try to make sure you clean every surface of all your teeth and remember to brush the inside surfaces, outside surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. It’s important to note children need to be helped or supervised brushing their teeth until they’re at least 7 years old.
Regular flossing removes plaque that forms along the gum line. It’s best to floss before brushing your teeth. You can use interdental brushes instead of flossing, especially if you have gaps between your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on the best way to clean your teeth.

2. Are dental decay issues hereditary?
Dental decay itself is not hereditary, however, there are some dental conditions that can increase the dental susceptibility to decay which can be passed down genetically. This can include some conditions involving the enamel or dentine whereby these layers are defective or missing and are therefore typically weaker and more prone to breakage.

Dental decay happens when the enamel and dentine of a tooth become softened by acid attack after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugars. Over time, the acid makes a cavity (hole) in the tooth. ‘Dental decay’ is the same as tooth decay and is also known as ‘dental caries’. Additionally dental crowding or malocclusions (where the teeth are not aligned properly when the upper and lower teeth fit together) can be hereditary. This can make it difficult to clean teeth effectively and therefore more prone to dental decay.

3. Does whitening toothpaste work?
Over the counter whitening toothpaste can remove some very superficial stains caused by things we eat or drink such as coffee. However, if you want the natural colour of your teeth to become whiter/lighter; address tooth discolouration due to fluorosis; certain medications; illness; death of a nerve inside a tooth or very heavy staining from food stuffs you will need to attend a dentist for further advice and professional tooth whitening procedures.

4. Do you recommend using mouthwash?
Yes, using a mouthwash as part of your daily oral care routine can have several benefits. It is important to note, however, that using a mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. Certain mouthwashes may also have more specific benefits, such as targeting sensitivity or gum issues. Speak to your dentist for recommendations on the best mouthwash for you to use and always follow the instructions for use on the packaging. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe a particular mouthwash for you to use.

I would recommend not to use mouthwash straight after brushing your teeth otherwise it will wash away the fluoride in the toothpaste left on your teeth after brushing. Aim to use mouthwash at a different time in the day, such as after lunch. Read more about this topic here.

5. Is vaping bad for your teeth?
In short, the answer is yes. Vaping [e-cigarette] has become increasingly popular over recent years because it is considered a safer alternative to smoking tobacco. However, many studies have shown that vaping can have harmful effects on your teeth and gums. We know that vaping causes excess bacteria in the mouth and some vaping liquids can also cause mouth dryness. These changes in the mouth are associated with gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. Although e-cigarettes are less toxic than traditional cigarettes, many still contain nicotine that could increase the risk of oral cancer. The nicotine in vapes can also cause tooth staining and yellow discoloration.

We recommend visiting your dentist regularly. They can spot oral health concerns early on and help you treat them at an early stage. They can also advise on resources to help you quit vaping altogether.

If you want to read more, The Dental Law Partnership Blog pages, is a hub of dental knowledge about tooth decay, dental implants, teeth whitening as well as dental negligence claim FAQs to help you along your dental journey.

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