What's in store to help you avoid feeling down in the mouth? As a report last week revealed the poor state of adults' teeth in Wales, dental hygienist Alison Lowe looks at what's new on the market to improve oral health.
EVERY autumn the British Dental Trade Association (BDTA) hosts a huge trade show for the dental profession known as the dental showcase.
The event provides great educational opportunities for the dental team, allowing them to integrate with fellow professionals and, more importantly, learn about innovative new brands.
Here are a few examples of some hot new products fresh on the market from the showcase.
Sensodyne Rapid Relief One in three people are affected by sensitive teeth but many never actively address the problem.
Instead they try to ignore it or develop ways to avoid the pain, such as by changing the way they eat certain foods and drinks or avoiding them altogether.
The simplest solution is to use a toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth.
Sensodyne Rapid Relief provides a physical seal against the sensitivity triggers and, when used twice daily, provides long-lasting protection.
Arm & Hammer Brilliant Sparkle Gel Food and drink and poor lifestyle choices mean dental plaque is a problem for many people but this new toothpaste could finally offer a solution by effectively removing almost double the amount of plaque than other leading brands.
It contains CrystalClean technology, a unique plaque dissolving agent, which is said to neutralise plaque and literally breaks its bonds with enamel to dissolve and remove up to 88% more deposits in a single brushing session.
BioRepair Although on the surface most teeth look healthy, daily wear and tear causes hundreds of tiny flaws to appear in the enamel.
BioRepair toothpaste contains a unique formulaknownas MicroRepair, which releases micro-particles of hydroxyapatite (a substance naturally found in dental enamel).
These work to repair any flaws and prevent decay by filling in the tiny cracks and bonding to the structure of the tooth surface.
Poligrip Total Care denture cleansing tablets It's a sad fact of life that most denture wearers don't clean their dentures properly.
Dentures should be cleaned thoroughly twice a day, and after eating if necessary.
Lots of people think it's all right to use an ordinary toothbrush and toothpaste but over time this will scratch the dentures.
It goes without saying that scratched surfaces provide the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria that cause denture odour, bad breath, inflamed gums and bacterial and fungal infections.
The general rule for cleaning dentures is to brush, soak and brush.
Always clean your dentures over a sink of water or a folded towel in case you drop them. Gently brush them with a soft toothbrush or nail brush to remove any food debris before soaking - use some unscented soap if you need a bit more oomph.
Put one Poligrip Total Care denture cleansing tablet into a container with enough warm - not hot - water to cover your dentures.
Leave them to soak for three minutes or overnight if they need an extra clean. You should always remove your dentures at night as it gives your mouth a chance to breathe.
Once the dentures have finished soaking you should brush them with the solution to get them super-clean.
Always, remember to rinse your dentures thoroughly and pour away the remaining solution.
Poligrip Total Care tablets also kill 99% of the bacteria that make them smelly, which is good news because even though you've got false teeth you should still be able to kiss with confidence.
Piksters interdental brushes Those of you who visit the dentist regularly are often nagged about flossing. In my experience most people leave the dentist with good intentions but the novelty soon wears off.
It's important to floss because the gaps between our teeth conceal just 40% of the tooth surface but account for 80% of the problems.
By cleaning in the gaps, you not only reduce your chance of decay, root canal treatments and crowns, but you also significantly reduce your chance of gum disease.
People don't floss because they find it too fiddly and awkward to use.
However, it is an excellent way to clean the gaps between your front teeth, and if you've already got into the habit you should definitely continue.
The problem is that gum disease and decay between the molars is a much bigger problem than between the incisors which is why millions of people have missing back teeth but still hang on to the front ones.
Interdental brushes can help address this problem and they can be used with one hand which makes them much less fiddly.
Although they are easy to use, they're not without their problems.
The most common complaint is that they bend too easily.
Piksters are made of a strong, stiff, plastic coated wire which allows you to clean thoroughly between the teeth without the brush buckling.
Piksters should be used every day, especially if you smoke as tobacco makes you much more prone to gum disease.
If you're not sure what size to buy ask amember of your dental team or get a variety pack to establish what size fits best (most people need more than one size).
Start with the smallest one first and work your way up until you can get the brush to fit snugly between the teeth without applying brute force.
All of the products are available from most supermarkets and chemists with the exception of Piksters which can be purchased from your dental surgery or directly from www.cts-dental.com www.survival-32shop.co.uk or the Dental Directory on 0800 585 586 or www.dental-directory.co.uk
New products on the market can have a real impact on keeping your teeth and gums in a clean and healthy condition