Cambuslang Dentist tel: 0141 641 3498

General Dental Advice

Information -

Home Care

It is important that you understand fully and complete your own dental care regime at home. Principally you should:

  • Spend three minutes at least once a day cleaning your teeth, removing plaque from the teeth and gums with a toothbrush.
  • Clean between all the teeth with floss, tape or inter-dental brushes.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean your teeth at other times for social reasons.
  • Have sugary drinks only with meals and try to avoid carbonated drinks. Substitute sugar in drinks with sweeteners.
  • Visit the dental team regularly to monitor the effectiveness of your home care.

A bit of science!

Our bodies play host to a number of organisms, most of which are quite harmless, and indeed some of which are actually essential for a healthy life.

The mouth is no exception. Although most of these are friendly bacteria, some which collect on our teeth can cause tooth decay and gum disease. We need to keep the numbers of these bacteria down to a minimum to prevent oral disease.

Some bacteria that are present in our mouths love sugars and starches found in most of our food, and they turn these into an acid which causes tooth decay.

Reducing the frequency of sugar and soft drink intake

The amount of decay risk our teeth undergo actually depends on how often sugars and starch enter the mouth, and not how much sugar we eat. A cup of tea with 3 spoonfuls of sugar can actually cause the same amount of tooth decay as half a spoonful. After food containing sugar or starch enters the mouth, teeth are under attack from acids for about 20 minutes - and this is greatly increased with some foods such as sticky foods.

We therefore need to watch what we eat and drink, and how often. The more often sugary or starchy foods enter our mouths, the longer our teeth are under attack, and the more likely it is that our teeth will decay.

Treating decay

Dental decay occurs in our teeth when plaque bacteria use sugars in our diet to produce an acid that attacks our teeth. This dissolves tooth structure, and the bacteria can then infect the dissolved part of the tooth. Here they are sheltered from tooth brushing and flossing, and they are also out of the reach of protection saliva offers our teeth.

However, when teeth are infected (a cavity is present), the infection has to be removed from the tooth tissue. Following this, the hole left behind has to be filled to close the open tooth tissue. The tooth has to be restored to its original shape and size to maintain its function (and appearance), and protect the inner parts of the tooth from further infections.


Fluoride is a naturally occurring element which strengthens the structure of the tooth and helps to fight tooth decay. However it is not added to the public water supply in the West of Scotland and so the use of fluoride toothpaste is highly recommend


It is very difficult to have complete control of your or your family’s sugar intake, but you can aim to follow a few simple guidelines. For example, eating three healthy meals a day may help to reduce a tendency to snack on sugary foods. It is important to keep consumption of carbonated sweetened drinks to a minimum, and to limit confectionery to mealtimes, or just to one day a week. Try to drink water and to finish meals with cheese rather than puddings.


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G72 7EP

0141 641 3498

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