What you need to know about toothbrushes




How often should we change toothbrushes?

Worn out toothbrushes cannot clean your teeth properly and may damage your gums. It is important to change your toothbrush every two to three months or sooner if the filaments become worn. When bristles become splayed, they do not clean properly.

It is a good idea to change your toothbrush after you have gotten over infections such as a cold to reduce the risk of infection.

What are the mistakes we make when storing our toothbrush?

Using a toothbrush cover may seem like a good idea but is actually a big mistake. The cover does not allow for the bristles to dry creating a moist environment where bacteria can thrive.

Another big mistake is storing our toothbrush too close to others, which may be owned by family members, and allow the heads to come into contact with each other. This enables cross-contamination. Also, do not put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave in an attempt to sterilise it; this is likely to damage the brush.

So how exactly should we be storing our toothbrushes?

Your toothbrush should be rinsed to remove any toothpaste from the brush then stored in an upright position so that water can drain away from the head of the brush with good circulation which allows it to dry completely.

Is an electric toothbrush better than manual?

Research has shown that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque. Those with heads that rotate in both directions (called oscillating heads) are the most effective.

If you have any further questions regarding toothbrushes or anything to do with oral health please do not hesitate in asking your dentist at your next visit.

Ten Facts About Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening remains hugely popular in the UK and has seen the number of treatments steadily rise over the last decade. Ensuring that tooth whitening must be carried out by a dental professional has eased the concerns from consumers worried about the safety and quality of service they are receiving.

Ten Facts about Tooth Whitening

  1. A third of all cosmetic dental treatments carried out involves tooth whitening.
  2. Few people have brilliantly white teeth, and your teeth naturally become discoloured as you get older.
  3. ‘Hydrogen Peroxide’ or ‘Carbamide Peroxide’ are the active ingredients which are used in tooth whitening.
  4. Most tooth whitening products bought over the counter do not contain enough peroxide to be effective and are unlikely to change the colour of your teeth.
  5. Tooth whitening only works on natural teeth and will not work on dentures, crowns or veneers.
  6. Most tooth whitening treatments normally take two to three weeks.
  7. Tooth whitening can last up to three years.
  8. Known short term side effects of tooth whitening can include increased tooth sensitivity, sore throats and white patches on the gum line.
  9. Whitening toothpastes do not affect the colour of your teeth, but may be more effective at removing staining to restore the tooths natural colour.
  10. Tooth whitening is only rarely available on the NHS.

Further information is available from https://www.dentalhealth.org/

Campaigning to Improve Mouth Cancer Awareness

Mouth cancer action month is in November and remains a focal point for everybody across the country to take action and help spread awareness of the disease.

The Oral Health Foundation uses Mouth Cancer Action as a chance to work closely with oral health educators, health professionals, schools and workplaces to increase their important work of delivering oral health education, especially in disadvantaged communities and regions of known poor oral health, to deliver better awareness of mouth cancer.

They have supported more than 3,600 healthcare organisations taking part in the campaign, facilitated around 350 specialised mouth cancer events around the UK, which specifically aimed to visually examine those patients at risk of mouth cancer.

As a charity looking to make a positive impact in the public arena, they have been able to influence policy regarding smoking, alcohol, diet and gender-neutral HPV vaccinations.

Look for the blue ribbon badges to show support for Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Oral Health Issues Surrounding Smoking

Although most of our patients attend every 3 or 6 months for treatment with our hygienist and examinations with Richard, and on the whole, maintain a good oral health regime, there are still a few that compromise some of their good dental habits through smoking.

Despite the fact that smoking isn’t seen to be as trendy as in previous years, and the financial costs of smoking  being so much higher, some people still find it hard to stop. This is unfortunate as smoking causes a lot of harm, not just to your general health, but also your oral health.

One of the more antisocial aspects of smoking is the smell. Bad breath can be offensive and lead to people wanting to avoid talking to you. It is not just the smoking smell on your breath and clothes that could be a concern, but the possibility of halitosis caused by gum disease. Smokers often have a dry mouth, and smoking slows down healing. Gum disease is more likely in smokers than non-smokers. This is a serious risk to the security of your teeth if the periodontal disease is left un-treated.

Here at Battle Hill Family Dental Practice we can now offer a Stop Smoking Service Referral, provided by https://www.northumbria.nhs.uk just ask either Richard or Margaret at your next appointment.

Some helpful websites:






Richard’s Charity Run

 Richard and his daughter, Imogen, are taking part in the Great North Run 2016 to help raise funds for The Stroke Association in memory of Richard’s Mum. If you would like to make a donation to this charity and help Richard and Imogen raise their target of £1000 please either log on to their JUSTGIVING page and search “Richard and Imogen Parker” (and there we are!) or simply drop some change in the collection box next time you’re in the practice. Thank you very much!!