Dr. Sarrah Omran
An experienced dentist with a wealth of experience in all types of dental problems. Her interests lie in cosmetic dentristry and smile makeovers.
I brush my teeth several times a day and sometimes bleed a lot. Is it true that it is good if your gums bleed? Does the type of toothbrush make a difference? Soft, medium or hard bristles? (Tom, 27)
It’s great to hear you’re brushing regularly Tom, however gum bleeding is not a good thing and is a classic sign of gingivitis (gum disease). Brushing with the incorrect technique and lack of flossing are the biggest culprits contributing to gum bleeding, which is due to being left behind. Going for long periods without a professional scale and clean at your dentist is another major factor. It’s a common misconception that hard or medium bristled toothbrushes clean better. The truth is, they can actually cause damage to your teeth and gums. A soft bristle toothbrush is always best, as it will gently but effectively remove plaque build up from tooth surfaces, as long as the right technique is being used.
I want to have brighter, whiter teeth. I’ve tried a few whitening toothpastes but none of them really worked for me. What is the cheapest, most effective treatment that is safe and long lasting? (Sue, 28)
Who wouldn’t love to have whiter, brighter teeth! The truth is, whitening toothpastes are usually only effective at removing superficial stains such as those from tea and coffee, however they are not capable of changing the natural colour of your teeth. Some ‘over-the-counter’ whitening treatments, whilst cheap, can cause problems if used incorrectly. For a safe and effective treatment to whiten teeth, there are several options available from your dentist, such as a professional take home whitening kit that will give you great results without having to take out a mortgage! A proper consultation is needed so that your dentist can recommend the best solution tailored to you.
I hate going to the dentist. I don’t sleep for a week before my appointment. I hate the needles going into my gums. I hate the little plastic film put uncomfortably in your mouth to take an xray. I hate the sounds of the equipment. I’ll prolong going to visit the dentist until I have a problem. Is there anything that I can do to make the fear less? (Betty, 49)
Betty, you’re definitely not alone on this one, and I feel for you! Dental anxiety is a huge problem for many people. The good news is that dentistry has come a long way, meaning that there are several options to make your dental experience as pleasant as possible. From simple solutions such as noise cancelling headphones, numbing creams and antianxiety medication, to even having all of your treatment completed whilst you are ‘asleep’ (sedation dentistry), taking the fear out of visiting the dentist can be quite achievable. Remember, it’s important to find a dentist who you trust and feel comfortable with, who you can communicate your specific fears to.
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