7 ways to banish bad breath

bad breath tipsNo one likes bad breath. It can be an embarrassing problem that many of us experience, but it’s not one you have to live with. Here are 7 ways to banish bad breath:

1. Brush properly & floss daily

Let’s start off with an obvious one – brushing & flossing. Brushing your teeth twice a day & flossing daily will remove food debris and plaque that can smell.

 

2. Clean your tongue daily

An important step of your oral hygiene routine is cleaning your tongue. This is because bacteria stick to your taste buds and then release a waste byproduct, which causes an odor. By scraping your tongue, you are removing the bacteria and helping to get rid of the smell too.

 

3. Choose foods carefully

If you’ve got a meeting, interview or a date etc, avoid eating foods that sour your breath, like pungent seasonings, e.g. garlic, onion, vinegar etc. You may have noticed that these smells linger more than other foods and that is because they make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out.

 

4. Drink plenty of water

Water lubricates the mouth and keeps bacteria at bay as it helps to wash away food particles and bacteria. Swap your fizzy drink, alcoholic beverage, coffee or tea for H20, as these drinks contribute to bad breathe because of their acidity.

 

5. Kick the tobacco habit

If you ever needed another reason to quit, here’s an easy one: it gives you bad ‘smoker’s’ breath. Over 4,000 chemicals pass through your oral cavity each time you smoke and many of them end up collecting on the surfaces inside your mouth.

 

6. Chew sugar-free gum after meals

Gum stimulates saliva, which helps to wash away food debris and bacteria that cause bad breath.

 

7. Clean your retainer or mouth guard

Many people brush correctly, floss and clean their tongue, but forget to also clean their retainer or mouth guard etc. These dental appliances also require daily cleaning, just as your teeth do, otherwise the plaque build up with cause you to have bad breath.

However good your oral hygiene is, you may still suffer from chronic bad breath, so visit us to rule out any dental problem, which may be causing this. 

5 things that are staining your teeth

staining teeth food drink

We all want beautiful bright, white smiles right? A smile can boost your self-confidence and it can take years off your appearance. While we offer teeth whitening treatment at Belgrave, it also helps to know which habits, foods and drinks can cause discolouration in your teeth and how to minimise this. Here are 5 common culprits that stain your pearly whites:

 

Smoking

It’s no surprise that smoking causes yellow and/or brown stains on your teeth. The tar and nicotine in the cigarettes get absorbed into the microscopic openings in your tooth enamel, which leads to discolouration over time.

Giving up smoking is your best option to avoid a smoker’s smile, but brushing thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, can help to fight the effects of staining. Also having regular appointments with our hygienist can help to remove these stains too.

 

Drinking tea & coffee

Your favourite brew can be staining your teeth as tea and coffee have a dark pigmentation that will discolour your teeth over time.

To help combat the staining, rinse your mouth with water after your cuppa. Swish the water around your mouth to help wash away any residue and to help keep your teeth white.

 

Soft drinks

The high sugar content in soft drinks isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about – the colouring and acidity are also bad news for your pearly whites. The dark colours in drinks like Cola may cause yellow staining over time.

Switch the fizzy drink to water with fresh cucumber and mint for a tooth-friendly alternative.

 

Red wine

It’s often said that a little red wine can be good for your general health but it’s not so good for your teeth. The dark coloured beverage has very strong pigments that cling to your enamel and stain your teeth.

While you should drink red wine in moderation, when you do fancy a glass of red, drink it through a straw to help reduce the staining. The wine hits the roof of your mouth and bypasses your teeth, which reduces the amount of exposure your enamel receives from the wine.

 

Sweets

Strongly coloured sweets such as sticky sweets, lollipops, ice-lollies etc can cause discolouration as your teeth are exposed to these sweets for a long period of time. As you suck the sweets and keep it in your mouth for a long time, your teeth are in more contact with the strong pigments, which increases the chance of staining.

Try to limit your intake of sweets and drink plenty of water after eating the sweets, not only to help the staining, but also to fight the plaque caused but the sugar contained in the sweets.

5 reasons to clean your tongue daily

5 reasons scrape your tongueWhen we sleep our body rests, but our digestive system remains awake. During the night, it removes toxins from our body by depositing them onto the surface of our tongue, which is why we get that coating on our tongue first thing in the morning. However, if we don’t remove this coating, the toxins get reabsorbed back into the body and this can lead to many problems. Therefore here are 5 reasons why it is necessary to clean your tongue daily.

 

1. To improve bad breath

There are many reasons why we get bad breath, however one of the main causes comes from the bacteria at the back of the tongue. Studies have shown that scraping this coating off reduces and removes oral bacteria from all areas of the tongue and thus reduces bad breath.

 

2. To improve your dental health

Almost half of our oral bacteria live on and in the deep crevices of our tongue (gross, we know!) so it’s very important to clean your tongue daily to remove this bacteria and toxins that can cause periodontal problems, plaque build-up, tooth decay, loss of teeth, gum infections and gum recession.

 

3. To experience the flavors of your food

If you don’t remove the mucus on your tongue, your taste buds can become blocked, which affects the taste of food.  Cleaning your tongue will open up its pores and expose your taste buds to allow for greater enjoyment of food flavors and help your body digest the food.

 

4. To improve your immune system

The tongue is part of the first line of defense in your immune system, so scraping your tongue prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into your body and boosts overall immune function.

 

5. To improve your digestion.

As digestion begins with taste, it’s important to remove any toxins that may obstruct the digestion of your food and so tongue cleaning also activates saliva production, which helps with digestion throughout the day.

5 healthy snack ideas

5 healthy snack ideas You’re at your desk at 3pm and start to feel peckish. The easiest option would be to grab a slice of cake from your colleague’s birthday yesterday but you know it’s not the healthiest option. Sound familiar?  Whether you’re a serial snacker at work or can’t help but get through a sharing packet of crisps all by yourself on a chilled Sunday afternoon, we’re got just the post for you. Here are 5 healthy snack ideas that will satisfy your 3pm cravings but also wouldn’t harm your body and oral health:

1. Mini pitas with hummus

Hummus is made from chickpeas, a great source of fibre and also prevents sugars from sticking to your teeth and so can minimise the chance of cavities. This snack will not only fill you up enough to keep you going but it also nutritious.

 

2. Yogurt with fresh fruit

Did you know many branded yogurt snacks contain a high amount of sugar? For example, Muller Corner yogurts contain around 5 teaspoons of sugar! Therefore, replace them with low-fat yogurt topped with fresh fruit, for a healthier alternative.

 

3. Homemade banana “ice cream”

A fan of ice cream? Traditional ice cream tends to have a high amount of sugar, so why not make your own healthy version? Whiz up some frozen bananas in a food processor with a splash of almond milk & almond butter to make a healthy, added sugar-free ice cream. You can also add other fresh fruit as a topping.

almonds

4. Go nuts for nuts

A handful of nuts will keep your energy levels up and are super healthy too! Unsalted nuts contain high amounts of calcium and vitamin D, which are great for your oral health. However, be careful when chowing down, as you can chip and crack your teeth on hard nuts, and never, ever open shells with your teeth!

 

5. Rice cakes

Rice cakes are an easy, quick snack, which are low in calories and fat. Pretty much anything can go on top of the rice cake, for example hummus, low-fat cream cheese with a couple of slices of cucumber, or even guacamole.

6 simple tips that will improve your oral health

6 simple tips that will improve your oral healthWhen it comes to our oral health and hygiene, we often get stuck in a routine and habit takes over as we feel that after all these years, of course we know how to look after our teeth, right? However sometimes we pick up bad habits or omit things that we should be doing, which may improve our oral health:

 

1. Spit, don’t rinse after brushing

Rinsing your mouth after brushing washes away the protective fluoride coating from your toothpaste, which if left protects your teeth for hours after you brush.

 

2. Try to eat sugary foods at meal times

If you’re going to have that piece of chocolate or a Haribo, do so after a main meal to reduce the number to times your teeth are exposed to damaging acids.

 

3. Remember to clean in between your teeth

If you don’t clean in between your teeth, you miss cleaning 35% of each tooth surface! Whether you choose an inter-dental brush or floss, make it a daily habit as it helps to remove bacteria that can cause tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. It takes minutes to do and is super easy once you’re in the habit of it!

 

4. Swap fizzy drinks for water

Fizzy drinks, even sugar free ones, can still damage your teeth as the acids found in these can soften your tooth enamel, which once lost will not regenerate. Instead switch to water, which helps to wash away food particles left in your mouth and keep you hydrated. If you fancy something that’s a bit more exciting than water, why not try fruit infused water to give it a bit of flavouring but keeping the benefits of drinking water.

 

5. Clean your tongue

A simple, quick scrape of your tongue can do wonders for your breath and remove plaque from your tongue and bacteria build-up.

 

6. Change your toothbrush

Remember to change your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3 months, as the bristles break down and are less effective and you’re also transferring bacteria to your mouth.

Winter Mouth Survival Guide

winter-mouth-survival-guideJanuary is a pretty depressing month. Christmas is over yet the days are still short and dark, it’s freezing outside so everyone’s mood is pretty low. On top of your usual January Blues, many of us also suffer from winter mouth problems, because of the cold weather, and much like a snowflake everyone’s mouth is unique. Some may suffer from dry mouth, while others may have sensitive teeth or cold sores, so here is our winter mouth survival guide:

Sensitive teeth

This is one of the most common tooth problems in the colder months, as the icy temperatures and wind can leave your teeth feeling sore and sensitive.

Survival tip:

When outdoors try breathing through your nose as much as possible, as crisp air can make your teeth even more sensitive. Your lips, tongue and cheek will keep your chattering teeth insulated. Using fluoride mouthwash and de-sensitizing toothpastes can also help sensitive teeth as they help block sensations and relieve pain.

However, if the sensitive pain doesn’t go away, come and see us for an appointment, as on-going aching could be a sign of a larger problem.

 

Dry mouth

Its cold season, which means blocked noses and mouth breathers! Sometimes excessive mouth breathing creates dry mouth, which can increase your risk of developing mouth infections and tooth decay.

Survival tip:

Drink water regularly throughout the day and chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist. We recommend the Peppersmith gum, as it contains xylitol, which reduces the harmful bacteria, and also reduces the bacteria’s ability to stick to your teeth, making the plaque easier to remove!

Also try and lessen your caffeine and alcohol intake, as they cause the body to lose water, which obviously can contribute to your dry mouth.

 

Lack of Vitamin D

The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful… We spend more time indoors during these months, which means you’re not getting a lot of Vitamin D through the sunshine. This is generally a problem for us Brits, as the sun here rarely likes to make an appearance! Vitamin D however is crucial for keeping your teeth and bones healthy, as it regulates the amount of calcium absorbed into your teeth and bones, meaning you won’t get the benefits of calcium if you don’t have enough vitamin D.

Survival tip:

Increase the amount of Vitamin D foods in your diet, for example eggs, fish, yogurt, broccoli, kale or take Vitamin D supplements. Or you can just use this as an excuse to book a holiday somewhere nice and warm, for that all-important Vitamin D!

6 ways to make Christmas healthier

christmasdinnerChristmas is the time when we notoriously overindulge, binge watch movies until we fall asleep in front of the telly & forget what day of the week it is! Bliss right? It’s a time to enjoy yourself and relax (once the Christmas shopping is done!) after a stressful year, however it’s also important not to forget about your teeth & health during this time of year, so here are 6 ways to make this Christmas healthier.

 

1. Don’t ditch the routine

Ever get that ‘what day of the week is it?’ feeling during the Christmas break? It’s very common and because of this, usually our daily routine gets thrown out. However, try to stick to a good oral hygiene routine as especially during this time of year, your teeth take a bit of a hammering with the sweets, chocolates, sugary treats and drinks they go through!

 

2. Christmas breakfast

The main event on Christmas Day may be lunch; however having a filling, healthy breakfast will help you to stop reaching for the Quality Street tin at midday.

 

3. Swap the mince pie for a handful of nuts

Just as festive, and they won’t harm your teeth. Mince pies are quite high in sugar because of the dried fruit they are made up with, so instead reach for the nutcracker. Nuts are rich in vitamins and minerals, which help protect your teeth from decay.

 

4. Drink water at the end of the office Christmas party

December is usually a busy month with lots of Christmas parties. A great tip is to make water your last drink of the night, as not only does it help to wash away the acid & plaque from the drinks, but also lessens the hangover!

 

5. Fondue of a Christmas cheese board?!

Good news, cheese is not only rich in calcium, which promotes healthy teeth but also balances out the PH in your mouth after having an acidic drink, like mulled wine.

 

6. Don’t deny yourself treats altogether

Denying yourself the good stuff is never a good idea, so if you can’t resist a chocolate coin or a Christmas tipple or two, chew some sugar-free gum or drink a glass of water to boost protection. Also, try and stick to snacking near meal times, so your teeth are exposed to sugar and acid fewer times in the day.

Fruit vs Fruit Juice

fruit vs fruit juice

You’d be forgiven for thinking that starting the day with a nice glass of orange juice is a healthy way to kick start the day, as it is natural, contains no additives and is branded as healthy; right? However, fruit juice is almost as bad as drinking a soft drink for breakfast and can seriously affect your oral and overall healthy if you drink it too much.

Here is why you should skip the juice and simply stick to the fruit:

 

1. Juices have a lot of sugar

Fruit is packed with tonnes of natural sugar called fructose, however when the fruit is compressed, the fructose is released and therefore leaves you with a glass full of sugar! A single 250ml glass of apple juice has around 7 teaspoons of sugar, which is almost the same as a glass of Coke, which has 6!

Fructose is bad news when it comes to your oral health if you drink juice regularly, as the bacteria in your mouth react with the sugar and create acids, which cause tooth decay. As juice is also highly acidic and can therefore soften your tooth enamel, wait 45 minutes to an hour before brushing. Just like everything, remember to enjoy fruit juice in moderation.

 

2. Less fibre in juice

Because of clever marketing, we think that having a glass of juice has the same nutritious value as the whole fruit. Although juice does offer some vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients, the juicing process removes the fibre, which is needed to counterbalance the sugar contained in the fruit.

 

3. Fruit juices are calorie heavy

One glass of juice contains 150 calories but a single piece of that fruit contains around 45 calories and it fills you up more than the juice. This is because not only are fruit juices quite sugar heavy, it also takes many pieces of the fruit to make one glass of juice. Also, the juice doesn’t fill you up so this means that you’re more likely to eat other things to satisfy your appetite, thus increasing your overall calorie intake.

 

Vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants are best served from the whole fruit with fibre included, so enjoy fruit in its original form – our bodies prefer it that way.

5 ways to store your toothbrush in a small London flat

5-ways-to-store-your-toothbrush-in-a-small-london-flat-copyLondon. It’s notorious for our culture, red buses & small flats and houses. Whether you’re renting a 2 bed flat in Belgravia or bought a studio flat in Clapham, maximizing small spaces is a must so here are 5 hacks to store your toothbrush in a hygienic yet efficient way that will maximum even the littlest of loos.
 
1. Store in the door

Is your bathroom cabinet full of medicines, creams and random bits and bops but no room for your toothbrush? A great hack is to attach cups to the inside door of the cabinet and store your toothbrush there. Space maximized ✓

bath3

 
2. Grip clips

If you have an electric brush, the cups may not be sturdy enough to hold the weight of your brush, so instead store your bulky electric toothbrush on the side of your cabinet with large metal clips.

 

3. Floating shelves

Floating shelves are all the rage with interiors at the moment, so why not be on trend and stylish with your bathroom & save space as well? Not only will this idea give your toothbrush a home, but it adds something fun and interesting to the walls of your bathroom. However as your toothbrush is not stored away, make sure to always flush the toilet when the lid is down.

 

4. Magnetic Strip

Instead of cups and clips mount a magnetic strip to the wall and glue a small magnet to your toothbrush.

 

5. Share a toothbrush

Only if it’s an electric, of course!! Save money and space by only using one brush but multiple heads.

4 nervous habits that are damaging your teeth

nervous habit oral healthLife can be stressful – work, personal life, tube signal failures on the day you have that really important meeting  – it can all take its toll and we express stress in different ways and sometimes in ways we don’t even know we’re doing! As Londoners we are unsurprisingly one of the most stressed out cities in the UK, so you may find these nervous habits that damage your teeth fairly familiar:

 

1. Chewing on pencils or pens

Chewing on the ends of pencils or pens is a very common habit when you’re stressed out, at work or concentrating hard. Sometimes you don’t even notice you’re doing it, until someone goes to borrow your pencil, takes a look at it and then changes their mind quickly!

The continuous nature of grinding on pens or pencils can wear your teeth down, which can cause your teeth to look ragged or uneven. In some cases it can even cause chipping or cracks in your teeth!

Solution:

Instead try chewing sugar-free gum as it increases the saliva flow in your mouth, which helps to wash away bacteria.

 

2. Sucking on hard sweets

Similar to chewing on pencils, but less common, some tend to suck on boiled sweets. This sugary habit is a recipe for disaster, as you’re bathing your teeth in sugar for long periods at a time and thus can lead to tooth decay!

Solution:

Like chewing on pencils, if you feel the need to chew on something, sugar-gum is your go-to!

 

3. Nail biting

Common in children but also adults, this habit can lead to long-term jaw pain and uneven teeth tips.

Solution:

Just finding other ways to occupy your hands can easily solve this habit. For example, holding a cup of tea or coffee or even painting your nails, as you won’t want to ruin that nice, new manicure!

 

4. Grinding teeth

We show signs of stress even when we sleep and some people often wake up with sore jaws from grinding their teeth during the night, which can wear down teeth over time and can be quite painful. As this is a habit happens while your asleep it makes it a hard habit to control!

Solution:

Come and see us for a consultation and a fitting for your own custom mouth-guard, which would help the night-time grinding.