Frequently asked questions

Which is better: a manual toothbrush or an electric one?

There are some studies that show an electric brush works better. In practice, it is possible to clean well with both, it is all in how the brush is used.

Which toothpaste should I use?

The main thing is to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. At Marchmont Dental Care we recommend Colgate Total for general use. For those more prone to decay we would recommend Duraphat Toothpaste as it has an increased level of fluoride providing more protection to the teeth. For those with sensitive teeth, the routine use of a toothpaste specifically designed to reduce sensitivity is best.

How often should I floss my teeth or use interdental brushes?

Flossing is an effective way to remove plaque from between your teeth and should be done on a daily basis.

How often should I brush my tongue?

Generally speaking, the tongue is self cleaning and covered in its own special cleaning agent – saliva – so the remnants of food are washed away. For those who feel they have bad breath tongue brushing may help.

What causes bad breath?

Most bad breath is caused by volatile sulphurous compounds that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Untreated gum disease is the main cause of bad breath therefore a visit to your dentist is essential.

Why does tooth sensitivity occur?

The top layer of your tooth – the enamel – has no nerve endings in it. However, the bulk of the tooth – the dentine – does, making it highly sensitive. If the enamel becomes worn or the gums recede exposing the root surface of the tooth, the dentine can become exposed making teeth painful to hot and cold food and drinks.

Why do I get mouth ulcers?

Some people are more susceptible to mouth ulcers than others and gel treatments are effective. However, sometimes frequent ulcers may indicate an underlying medical condition like anaemia. An ulcer that persists for more than two weeks should be checked by a dentist.

When should my child first see a dentist?

Try and register your baby with a dentist soon after it is born. In practice, unless you have any specific concerns, we start to see wee ones from about two years onwards. Prior to this your dentist will give you instructions on how to look after your baby's teeth. Remember babies have never experienced sweet things so try and avoid giving them sweets for as long as possible.

Why is good dental health so important during pregnancy?

It is advisable to attend regularly during pregnancy. Due to the normal hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, your gums may bleed more than normal, so it is important to have an examination. There is no truth in the old wives tale that the baby removes calcium from the teeth leaving them more likely to decay.