Dr Arvin Mirzadeh at Vitality in Pulborough: Dental dos and don'ts
PUBLISHED: 12:35 14 September 2016 | UPDATED: 12:41 14 September 2016
As anyone who's ever had toothache can attest, good dental health is integral to our sense of well-being - not to mention the confidence a dazzling smile brings. Jenny Mark-Bell spoke to Dr Arvin Mirzadeh of Vitality in Pulborough to find out some dental dos and don'ts
“We try to get across to people that the importance of good dental hygiene is manifold,” says Dr Arvin Mirzadeh, in his bright and friendly clinic. “It is of critical importance if you are hoping to keep your teeth for life and you want to have a healthy smile.”
We all know we need to be brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste but there’s a lot more to good dental hygiene than that. And there are even more compelling reasons to brush up your dental hygiene than those Arvin has just mentioned: between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of the population will have gum disease at some point in their lives. Conditions associated with gum disease include Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and it is possible there is a link to Alzheimer’s.
So, first the basics:
• There is a debate over whether to brush before or after breakfast. If you have something acidic like orange juice in the morning it is better to brush before so you don’t risk abrading the surface of your teeth when you brush.
• For most people, an electric toothbrush will be more effective than manual brushing because it makes up for any shortfall in technique. If using a manual brush, don’t be tempted to ‘scrub’ the teeth from side to side – it can cause sensitivity or damage the teeth long-term. Instead make circular movements along the gum line.
• Flossing once a day is recommended as one of the ways of cleaning between the teeth. Ask your dental hygienist for personalised advice.
• “We don’t recommend mouthwash as a matter of course,” says Arvin, adding that for some people it is very effective. If your dental professional has not recommended it to address a specific problem and you just like that fresh breath feeling, Arvin says any alcohol-free product containing fluoride is fine.
A whiter smile
In recent years tooth-whitening has become ever more popular – and the availability of both professional and at-home treatments has grown to match. There is some bad news: whitening toothpaste is unfortunately not going to whiten teeth. That’s because the active ingredient in professional whitening treatments, hydrogen peroxide, is not available for the general public to buy.
If you opt for whitening treatment, ensure it is carried out by a dental professional – the General Dental Council will prosecute anyone who is not qualified to carry out such treatment. Ask to see the registration details of the person carrying out the treatment.
Most patients achieve a whitening effect within two to five weeks. A thorough stain removal treatment is recommended before treatment begins and it is advisable to avoid tea, coffee and red wine during treatment. Your dentist will recommend on the best shade to go for, taking into account age as well as a number of other factors.
Be aware that the treatment has risks as well as benefits: research indicates that using peroxide to bleach teeth is safe but the long-term effects are as yet unknown.
Vitality, 32 Lower Street, Pulborough; 01798 872004; vitality-dental.com