You may have heard that washing every day is not so good for you as it stops important bacteria that live on your skin being able to build up enough to protect you. This may be true, but please don’t think that it also applies to the bacteria that live in your mouth.
While the bacteria in our mouths are harmless, and even play an important role, they can also go a bit crazy on all the sugar we eat. They feed on whatever sugars are in our mouths and when they do, they proliferate and start to build up on our teeth in a sticky film called plaque. They also give off acids and it’s these acids that cause the damage, because they are corrosive.
Acids can eat through our tooth enamel, creating tiny holes through which decay-causing bacteria and infection can enter. This is tooth decay.
The acids also attack the gums. Think how much lemon juice can hurt if you get it in a crack in the skin on your hand, and now imagine having it leaking onto your gums. It’s no wonder they get sore and inflamed and can start to bleed. This is the early stage of gum disease. In the advanced stage, the sore, swollen gums pull away from the teeth and bacterial plaque sneaks into the pockets underneath, where it starts to corrode your tooth roots and the bones holding them in place. You teeth can become loose and wobble and then fall out.
Brushing and flossing
The only way to prevent decay and gum disease is with good dental hygiene. You need to brush well for 2 minutes using a soft brush with fluoride toothpaste on it, twice a day. You also need to floss between the teeth, making sure to curve up under the gums to remove plaque. Interdental brushes are also good as you get older, to remove trapped food.
You also need to see the dental hygienist here at Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, twice a year to remove any plaque you’ve missed. Do all this and you have a good chance of keeping all your teeth all your life.