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25/May/2019

Do you bite your nails? It’s estimated that around a quarter of adults chew their fingernails. While nail-biting may seem like a harmless habit, it can actually damage your smile. This is because it can wear down your teeth over time and even crack them! In this post, we’ll discuss what you need to know about nail-biting.

What are the risks of nail-biting?

While nail biting may seem harmless, it’s actually quite bad for your teeth. Here’s five ways that biting your nails can harm your smile.

  • Worn teeth. People who bite their fingernails – or indeed anything else, such as pencils, pens or ice – can gradually wear their teeth down over time, making their teeth more susceptible to decay.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth. By biting your nails, there’s the risk that you could accidentally chip or crack your teeth. No-one wants that!
  • Tooth loss. The risks of nail-biting are even greater for those who wear braces. This is because braces already put quite a bit of pressure on your teeth, and by biting your nails, you’re applying even more pressure. This can cause root resorption or even tooth loss. You definitely don’t want to lose your teeth after all the effort you’ve gone through to straighten them!
  • Spread of bacteria. You can easily spread bacteria to your mouth by putting your fingers inside. The area under your nails is a surprising hotbed for bacterial activity, and by putting your nails in your mouth, you’re transferring the bacteria to your mouth and teeth.
  • Teeth grinding. Nail biting can even lead to teeth grinding, according to research. A study has found that those who chew on their fingernails are more likely to suffer from teeth grinding later in life. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to its own set of problems, including jaw pain and worn-down teeth.

How can I stop biting my nails?

As with any bad habit, it can be surprisingly difficult to stop. However, quitting is achievable. Here are some things you can do to make it easier to break your habit.

  • Swap a bad habit for a good one. When you feel the need to bite your nails, try playing with an elastic band or a stress ball instead. This will keep your hands busy and away from your mouth.
  • Apply bitter tasting nail polish to your nails. Some pharmacists sell a type of lacquer designed to help you stop biting your nails. It tastes awful, so if you apply a bit of it to your nails, you’ll soon learn not to chew them. Don’t worry though – it’s safe to ingest. Not that you’d want to though!
  • Cut your nails short. Having short nails means there will be less for you to bite.
  • Identify why you’re biting your fingernails. Some people bite their nails because they’re bored; others bite them because they’re stressed or anxious. Figuring out what’s triggering you can help you to avoid these situations. Even just understanding your problem better can help you to gain control over it.

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25/May/2019

More than 200,000 people every year get braces in the UK, according to the NHS website. Most of these people are teenagers, but nowadays, more adults are getting braces too.

If you’re an adult and you have braces, then you might be wondering what to expect when your braces finally come off. You’ll certainly be looking forward to this day. Your teeth will, of course, be straighter, and you’ll also appreciate the new freedom of no longer having braces attached your teeth. In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about life after braces.

The removal procedure

The procedure to take off your braces is fairly straightforward and you won’t have to prepare for it in any way. What’s more, the procedure is typically pain-free. Furthermore, only one dental appointment is needed and you’ll be able to go straight back to work afterwards.

Retainers

After wearing braces, you’ll need to wear a retainer at night, typically for the rest of your life, to stop your teeth from moving back to their old positions. We’re sorry if you thought that you were done when the braces came off! The good news however is that retainers are comfortable to wear because they’re custom-made. They’re also easy to clean since you only need to brush them with toothpaste.

Retainers last between six months to several years, after which you’ll have to return to the dentist to get a new one.

Teeth whitening

After having braces, many people choose to get their teeth whitened. This is to get a pearly white smile to go with their new straight teeth. If tooth whitening is something you’re interested in, then you should know that there are two options to choose from: in-office whitening and at home whitening.

With in-office whitening, your dentist will cover your teeth with a special bleaching gel. The procedure can be done in just one dental visit.

Or, if you prefer to whiten your teeth at home, then you could try a toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide. This ingredient removes stains and can whiten your teeth. However, watch out for tooth sensitivity – this could be a sign that the toothpaste is prematurely wearing away your enamel.

Diet

Once your braces come off, there are certain foods that are safe to eat again. These include chewing gum, popcorn, and hard boiled sweets.

However, don’t go crazy with the sugar: it can lead to cavities, which is something you don’t want, especially after all the effort you made to improve your smile.

Oral hygiene routine

When your braces finally off, you’ll find that brushing and flossing are much easier than before since you’ll no longer have to navigate around your brackets and wires. However, just because it’s easier to keep your teeth clean, it doesn’t mean that you can stop brushing your teeth twice a day. By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, you’ll have a great smile for decades to come.

Conclusion

Getting your braces taken off is definitely the most exciting part of having braces. By wearing your retainer every night and by practising a good oral hygiene routine, you can keep your teeth healthy and straight for life.


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25/May/2019

If you play sports, then one of the best things you can do for your teeth is to wear a sports mouthguard. These custom-made mouthpieces protect your mouth from the crashes, collisions and falls that could otherwise result in lost or broken teeth.

However, mouthguards can also be dangerous, since they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Even worse, people often neglect to clean their mouthguard properly or they store it in the wrong way. If you want to learn how to use your mouthguard correctly, then read this blog post to find out.

 

How to clean your mouthguard

You should always clean your mouthguard after use because bacteria can easily accumulate on them. Here’s how to clean it:

  1. Rinse. At a minimum, you should be rinsing your mouthguard after use. Make sure to use cold water instead of hot water though, because hot water could distort the plastic.
  2. Brush. Ideally, you should be brushing your mouthguard after each use too. A toothbrush and toothpaste are the best tools for this job. Children’s toothbrushes are ideal because they’re small and can get into the crevices easily.
  3. Dry. Let your mouthguard dry completely before you put it away.

Extra tip: Some people find that leaving their mouthguard in a soaking solution helps to freshen it.

 

Other things you need to know

If you thought things were that simple, then think again. There are a few more things you need to know about mouthguards if you want to keep your teeth safe and healthy.

  • Clean your teeth before you put on the mouthguard. It’s important to clean your teeth before you wear your mouthguard. This is because if you don’t brush your teeth, you will transfer any bacteria in your mouth to the mouthguard. So brush with toothpaste and then rinse your mouth with mouthwash.
  • Clean your teeth after you take out the mouthguard. It’s also a good idea to give your teeth a quick clean after you’ve taken out the mouthguard. This will rid of your mouth of any bacteria that were on the mouthguard.
  • Store your mouthguard correctly. You should keep your mouthguard in a container – this shouldn’t be difficult as most guards already come already with a plastic container. Do make sure the container has air vents though, so any moisture can escape.
  • Keep your mouthguard container clean too. Not only do you need to keep your mouthguard clean, you also need to keep its container clean too! If all this sounds like a lot of unnecessary work, we promise you that it’s worth it because it helps to prevent plaque and cavities. To clean the container, use warm water and a non-toxic cleaner, then leave it to air dry before putting the mouthguard inside.
  • If your mouthguard is showing signs of wear, get a new one. A mouthguard that has signs of wear and tear probably needs to be replaced. This is because the cracks and holes in the guard can harbour bacteria, and it can be nigh-on impossible to get these bacteria out.

Now that you know how to take care of a mouthguard, have fun and play well!


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25/May/2019

Toothaches are one of the worst pains that people can suffer from. They can be debilitating to those who have them and there’s unfortunately no cure other than going to a dentist.

The consequences of toothaches include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • A bad mood
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty eating
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation
  • infections that may require antibiotics

In this post, we’ll discuss the causes of toothaches and what you can do if you have one.

What causes toothaches?

There are many causes of toothache, so it’s important to go to the dentist immediately so you can find out what’s causing it. Below, we’ll discuss the most common causes of toothache.

  • Fractures: A broken tooth, whether from playing sports, an accident or a nasty fall, will certainly cause pain. In the event of a broken tooth, see an emergency dentist as soon as possible because your prognosis depends on how quickly you receive treatment. The treatment will depend on the severity of the broken tooth. If the damage is small then only a small reconstruction might be needed. More extensive damage will require a crown, and in the worst scenario, the dentist will have to remove the whole tooth and replace it with an implant.
  • Cavities: One of the most common causes of toothache are cavities. When cavities are still in their early stages, they usually don’t cause any pain. But as they grow, they can become painful, especially if they reach a nerve. For this reason, it’s important that you go to a dentist for regular checkups. This way, the dentist can catch any cavities before they become serious.
  • Bruxism: Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is where a person involuntarily grinds their teeth. Sufferers of bruxism usually do it in their sleep, though it can also happen when you’re awake too. Many people suffer from bruxism and some aren’t even aware of it. It’s a serious problem because bruxism can wear down your teeth and cause headaches and toothaches. In extreme cases, your teeth can crack and fracture. To correct bruxism, most dentists recommend using a night guard.
  • Wisdom teeth: Your wisdom teeth have the ability to cause real pain since they’re large and they often don’t have space to erupt from your gums. If you’re suffering from wisdom teeth pain, then the only solution is to get your wisdom teeth removed.

How do I get rid of a toothache?

To alleviate a toothache, the only real solution is to go to a dentist. Your dental professional will be able to diagnose the problem and find a solution.

However, this advice isn’t very useful if you can’t see a dentist right away. If you want to alleviate your toothache now, try applying a cold press to the area. You can make a cold press out of ice, a towel and a plastic resealable bag. Simply put the ice in the bag with a bit of water, seal the bag and then wrap it in a towel. Finally, apply the towel to the area of your mouth that’s painful.

Another way to temporarily alleviate a toothache is with painkillers. Pharmacies sell over-the-counter painkillers, but be sure to get the advice of your doctor or pharmacist before you take them.

If you have a toothache, then we recommend making an appointment with Queensgate Dental Practice as soon as possible. To make an appointment, simply call us on 01282 428435.


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