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Teeth cleaning products: Jul'13

Tags: dental , gums , teeth

Dr Uchenna Okoye is the official dentist on Channel 4’s '10 Years Younger'. As a sustaining member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists she is at the forefront of trends and innovations and is a regular guest of BBC Breakfast. Dr Uchenna answered all your questions surrounding teeth cleaning products. Discussing what's good, from whitening, flossing and electric toothbrushes.

AXA PPP healthcare:
Hi and welcome to today's Teeth Cleaning Products live chat. Please get your questions over to Dr Uchenna now

PPP S asked:
I previously used 'Blanx' which was a whitening toothpaste. It seemed to work in the short term, is there any natural way of whitening teeth with long-term effects?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Hi there, whitening toothpastes are a great way to maintain the natural colour of your teeth by keeping stains at bay.  It is important to use a gentle one as some can be quite abrasive.  I recommend the OralB 3D white paste. it's really gentle and most importantly it has technology in it to help keep new stains from sticking.  The only real way to get your teeth white is to have professional whitening by your dentist, then use the toothpaste to maintain the new colour :)

PPP S asked:
Bleeding gums is an issue I have dealt with for the past few months, and I suffer from mouth odour to some extent. Is there an underlying issue and what would be the cure? I brush twice a day and floss the same. 

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
You need to book an appointment with your dentist for a full check up.  This should involve taking precise measurements of your gum levels (called probing depths) to check no disease.  Gum disease is actually the reason most people loose their teeth in the UK and it is so easy to treat.  Bleeding gums and mouth odour is an early sign.  It may just be that a deep clean by the hygienist will take care of it

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fiona asked:
What type of floss should I use? Some break off and get stuck!

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Well done for flossing!  My patients call it the 'F" word :)  Try tape if you find it is breaking.  There is a fab product called Glide which many dentists stock or a good alternative which is really strong is OralB Satin Floss. 

fiona commented:
Ah great, I'll pick up OralB Satin Floss! Thanks

Anonymous123 asked:
I sometimes suffer from mouth ulcers - they seem to come in a group of 3 or more and last for several days making me feel miserable. Do you know what might be the cause of this?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Stress is the commonest factor, can also be hormonal.  However first step should be your GP so they do a blood test as very often I find it is caused by a deficiency eg iron

Anonymous123 commented:
Great thanks - are there any products i can use daily to reduce the risk of them developing or even help clear them faster?

Allan asked:
Is there a huge difference between electric and manual toothbrushes?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
HUGE HUGE difference.  It's my desert island item (waiting for a solar powered one :)  I use the analogy of sweeping by hand or using a vacuum cleaner...it really is that much of a difference!

Heather asked:
Is there any products you would recommend for longer lasting fresh breath?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Ultradex Mouth wash (used to be called Retardex) is excellent.  It's also the only product I've found to get rid of garlic breath!

Heather commented:
Amazing, I will definitely try that out since I'm a bit of a garlic lover too! Thanks.

Anonymous116 asked:
Do you have any good tips for ensuring your children clean their teeth properly?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Great question.  Make it fun, whether sticker rewards, egg timer etc.  I would recommend an electric toothbrush, OralB have a great one for kids.  My nephew refused to allow anyone to brush his teeth last year (he was 3) now he reminds his mum it's time to brush!  I always recommend an adult brush until kids are about 8 years old.  The night time brush is the important one

ianto asked:
I am not really much of a snacker, but I do drink milky coffee pretty much all day, is this something that could affect my teeth?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
As long as no sugar in there, wont cause any cavities :)  With regards to colour though, the coffee even though you are using milk will stain your teeth.  Anything that stains a white shirt will also stain teeth

ianto commented:
Thanks - no sugar for me :)

Ruth asked:
I've seen natural teeth cleaning chewable tabs in Lush. Are these an effective alternative or best avoided?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
These are a fun way to get toothpaste and many of my patients who travel love the convenience.  It is no better and you still need to use a brush.  Think of it as solid toothpaste

Ruth commented:
Interesting, thanks!

Stu 32 asked:
Is mouthwash necessary?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
I always recommend a fluoride toothpaste to protect the teeth from cavities.  That's really the only one I would say use on a daily basis. 

Chris asked:
Are there any good home teeth whitening products avaliable?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Hi Chris, only whitening toothpastes which should be thought of as stain removers.  To truly whiten teeth you need to have professional whitening by your dentist, then you can be sure of safety and good results

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If you missed our live chat and have any further questions relating to teeth cleaning products or dental care, then why not ask our panel of experts a question?

 

Anonymous149 asked:
Why do people from the USA have better teeth?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
HA!ha! yes we Brits do get a thrashing from the americans.  They value smiles more than we do, although we are getting better.  Also we Brits do not like to spend money on ourselves, we consider it vanity whereas most of the americans I meet tell me they consider their personal brand (themselves!) the best investment :)

Jenny asked:
Are electric toothbrushs which vibrate any better than standard electric toothbrushes? They seem like a gimmic

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Hi Jenny, not sure which brushes you mean but I can easily cut through all the confusion.  The one I use which is what I recommend is the OralB range.  The new one OralB Trizone 5000 is great for anyone using an electric toothbrush for the first time.  It is also the only brush endorsed by the British Dental Health Foundation so you can be sure it's been checked out :)

Anonymous150 asked:
I understand you should floss after each meal but is flossing at work bad etiquette? Are there any more subtle products available that will do the job?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
I think it's only bad etiquette if you doing it in public :) You can try little brushes eg Tepe brushes that look like tiny baby bottle brushes, they can be much easier to use and less fiddly

fiona asked:
When I was younger the dentist recommended an orange sealing for parts of my teeth - saying that they'd go pink at the first signs of decay allowing quick action. This was sold to my parents as being top of the range technology from the states and it was not an NHS treatment - but every other dentist I've seen has been perplexed bythe sight of what they call 'orange fillings'. Have you ever heard of this treatment?

fiona commented:
In fact I have just searched and it looks like they are probably fissure sealants - do you recommend these?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Hi Fiona, I just sent a message to a paedodontist (specialises in kids) to ask about this as I hadn't heard of it.  Fissure sealants, yes that makes more sense.  I definitely recommend them, within 6 months of the first molars coming out.  Helps protect them from decay especially when there are still baby teeth so cleaning is more of a challenge

fiona commented:
Thanks! Strange about the colour change issue - I'm starting to wonder if it's something my dentist made up to get me in the chair haha :)

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
It worked! :)

Abby asked:
I find flossing very sore on my gums, is there a less harsh alternative? Or are there any sensitive versions?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
If your gums are really sore when flossing, then either you are flossing too aggressively (which is unusual) or it may be your gums are inflamed already.  Does it bleed when you floss?  I would recommend you speak to your dentist or hygienist

Claire D asked:
What's the best toothpaste?

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Key ingredient is fluoride.  As long as the toothpaste has this then you can be sure your teeth are getting the protection they need. 

AXA PPP healthcare asked:
We've just had a question on Facebook, from Harriet:

"Two of my wisdom teeth have come through and are causing me slight discomfort, any products/methods to help reduce this irritation?"

Dr Uchenna Okoye answered:
Hi Harriet, sorry to hear you are in pain.  The key thing is to keep the area clean, there is a natural tendency to stay away, but that will make things worse.  Get some Corsodyl gel to rub on the gum/teeth, apply about 3-4 times a day.  If the pain keeps getting worrse after about 2 days, you need to go see your dentist

AXA PPP healthcare:
This afternoon's live chat is now closed. Thank you for all your brilliant questions, and thank you to Dr Uchenna for her excellent answers. We hope they have helped.

 


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