February is flying by - and it'll be March before we know it. Which is exciting... yet scary how fast time goes, in equal measure! March 20th is World Oral Health Day; a great opportunity for us to brush up [see what I did there?!] on our understanding of all things dental... good oral health is so much more than just remembering to brush your teeth twice a day!

Your mouth is often an indicator of your overall general health; many conditions can first present themselves here - so  regular check-ups with your dentist gives them the chance to spot any changes, leading to early detection and better treatment outcomes. 

Dr Imogen Bexfield, lead dentist & medical director at www.whiteswanaesthetics.co.uk is here today to share her golden rules in keeping your mouth, teeth & gums healthy. 

#WorldOralHealthDay [March 20th] | Dr Imogen’s Pointers On Preserving Your Pearly Whites*

1. Dr Imogen's number one top tip for those visiting her clinic is “spit no rinse.” After you brush your teeth, spit the excess toothpaste out but DO NOT rinse your mouth out with mouthwash or water... otherwise the fluoride & other cavity protecting ingredients in the toothpaste will be washed down the plug hole!

2. It’s not necessarily the amount of sugar you consume which contributes to decay - but the frequency! Everything you eat or drink [except water] has sugar in it; which represents an acid attack on your teeth. Eventually this acid can break down the teeth & holes are formed. 

If you can limit your teeth to being exposed to just 5 acid attacks a day, this gives them a better chance to recover from the sugar / acid insult - and the minerals in your saliva can repair the early holes to keep your teeth strong & cavity free.

3. Go for your dental check-up. Most people think that the dentist is just checking their teeth - but they are actually checking your gums, tongue, throat and the roof of your mouth for a range of conditions; including oral cancer, auto-immune diseases & dietary deficiencies. Which is pretty important.

4. Pay for a full hygienist dental clean every 6 months. NHS resources are sadly spread very thin & NHS dentists don't always have enough time to do a thorough clean of your teeth and gums.

Dr Imogen advises that spending £50-£70 on a dental clean might seem steep at the time; but in long term, your gum health with be preserved & future expensive / time consuming treatment might be avoided. 

5. Botox can be a great way to prevent teeth grinding, lock jaw and TMD [temporo-mandibular disorder.] Lots of people suffer from teeth grinding; which flattens & shortens the teeth, causes muscular facial pain and often results in tension headaches from jaw tension. 

Many sufferers will be aware that a mouthguard is a possible solution... but these can be uncomfortable to wear & don't address the root cause of the issue. Botox can be used to soften the masseter [jaw] muscle so that it cannot tense & generate teeth clenching or grinding. An added benefit of this treatment is that it also slims the face as the jaw muscle reduces in size. Win-win!

What would your number one top tip in achieving good oral health be? Will you be raising awareness of #WorldOralHealthDay this year? Thanks again to Dr Imogen & White Swan Aesthetics for the handy pointers in this post!
*Collaborative post
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