31 October is coming… and, with it, all the creepy fun and terrifying excitement of Halloween. But, as you prepare for your parties and pumpkin carving, we have a few ‘trick or treats’ of our own that will fix some of those very real dental fears you may have…
Bleeding gums and a bad bite
Spitting blood after you have cleaned your teeth should never be ignored – it is very often a sign of gum disease (gingivitis) and you’ll need to visit your dentist ASAP. For those of us who suffer with it, our gums will also be red (rather than the usual pink), appear swollen and feel tender. Our teeth will look longer because the gums are receding. Teeth will also be super sensitive to any hot or cold food or drink, and may become loose. Bacteria will lead to bad breath and may change your bite, altering the way your teeth slot together. If you don’t get professional dental care, it can lead the more serious gum disease, called periodontitis – and eventual tooth loss. Your dentist or dental hygienist will need to address the problems straight away and can advise on how best to improve your dental hygiene – with guidance on toothbrush technique and interdental cleaning. They can also offer some guidance on food and drink to include in your diet that are excellent for gum health – as well tips on ditching those that are not,
Adult orthodontics is increasingly popular – and braces and aligners don’t have to stay on for long to improve a smile nor do they have to necessarily involve the ‘heavy metal’ look. There are many options when it comes to teeth-straightening treatments for those of us wishing to fix smiles discreetly and quickly.
Ceramic braces made to match the natural colour of our teeth, lingual braces attached to the back of the teeth and are unable to be seen from the front and
removable braces that can be ditched for special occasions from time to time – or just when we eat – all make the decision to sort out our smile an easier one.
There are even cosmetic treatments that focus solely on the six front teeth that are exposed when you smile, speeding up the treatment!
Most of us fear we suffer with halitosis at one point or another (especially after enjoy the vampire’s ‘most hated’ – garlic!). But, if your bad breath is persistent, it’s worth getting checked out at the dentist because there may be a more serious underlying problem. It is estimated that one in four Brits suffer with bad breath on a regular basis but, as always, prevention is better than cure. Stay hydrated, make sure you stick to a regular oral hygiene regime and invest in a tongue scraper. According to scientists, the tongue harbours half the oral bacteria within the tongue’s deep crevices. So, don’t forget to clean it to ensure 100% fresh breath!
If you’re terrified of the dentist, it can be hard to get motivated to book an appointment. Reassuringly, many dental clinics now understand this only too well and are happy to accommodate those of us with anxiety – or are, indeed, phobic. Many clinics are happy to welcome potential and anxious patients for a consultation in order to help them get used to the environment and talk through any treatments– let’s face it, the smells and sights of a dental surgery can be off putting to even to those of us without fear. The most recent Adult Dental Health Survey found that 12% of adults had extreme dental anxiety (which would be classed as ‘phobia’), with it proving more of an issue for women than men. There are even dental phobic certified dentists.
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