Franklin House Dental Practice

01634 577794

Same Day Emergency

15 Franklin Road | Gillingham  Kent | ME7 4DF

Visiting Your Dentist

Welcome to Franklin Road Dental Practice

Make sure you register with a dentist and go for regular check-ups.

The dentist will tell you how often you should have check-ups, as it depends on your age and how healthy your teeth and gums are. For adults, the interval between check-ups is usually between three months and two years.

Visiting your dentist regularly means that any problems will be caught early, so they will be easier to treat.


Flossing incorrectly can have the same effect as not flossing at all and, if it is done incorrectly, it can damage your gums.

Follow the steps outlined below in order to ensure that you floss correctly;

  • Cut off a 40cm (about 16 inches) section of floss, and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand.
  • Wind the other end of the floss around the middle finger of your other hand. This finger will be used to take up the excess floss after you have used it.
  • Grip the floss with your thumb and forefinger of each hand, so that you have a tight 3cm (1 inch) length of floss between your two hands, which you can pull between your teeth.
  • Gently guide the floss between two of your teeth down to the gum.
  • Curve the floss around the tooth, and gently scrape it along the side of the tooth, moving away from the gum.
  • Guide the floss back to the gum and repeat a further two times.
  • Repeat this process for the other side of the gap, along the side of the next tooth.
  • Use a new section of floss for each tooth, winding the used floss onto the middle finger of your other hand as you go along.
  • Work to a pattern, such as starting with the top jaw, and working from left to right, followed by the lower jaw, working left to right. This makes you less likely to miss teeth out.
  • Don’t forget the back of your last tooth!

After you first start to use floss, your gums may bleed a little as you start to get rid of the build up of plaque. However, you should continue flossing your teeth, as the bleeding should stop by the fifth or sixth time you floss. If you are still experiencing regular bleeding after this, tell your dentist.

Use the proper toothbrush. It should have soft nylon bristles and a small head. Soft bristles are gentler on your gums and will flex more easily to reach between the teeth while a small head allows you to reach all areas of your mouth.

Wet your toothbrush slightly. By doing this, your gums will not be torn by the sharp bristles of the toothbrush. Squeeze a pea-size amount of toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Your toothpaste should contain fluoride and be recognized by your local dental association.

Start on the inside of the lower front teeth, with the handle parallel to the row of teeth, just as you would to brush the outside of the same teeth. The concentrated “pea of toothpaste” will work harder at retarding the tartar that tends to accumulate here first.

Tilt your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums and wiggle the brush on the bristle tips, working on just two teeth at a time, for 5-10 seconds. Clean the outside and inside surfaces of the teeth, as well as the chewing or “horizontal” surfaces.

Brush (wiggle) along the gum line. This is extremely important, as gum disease starts here. Brush gently to avoid damaging your gums. Pressing harder does more damage than good. Make sure to get behind the molars at the back, where bacteria like to hide.

Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that cause bad breath.

Rinse your mouth out with water
It is important to use dental floss, or interdental brushes, to clean food debris and plaque from between your teeth. Brushing on its own will only clean around 60% of each tooth’s surface area.

The two main methods of cleaning in between your teeth (interdental) are by using dental floss (or tape), or an interdental brush.

Your dentist or hygienist can show you the correct interdental cleaning techniques, and recommend which method is most suitable for your needs.

Using interdental brushes

Many people find interdental brushes easier to use than floss, and they may also cause less bleeding. The brushes have small, bristled heads that are specially designed to clean between your teeth. They can be used instead of floss when the gaps between your teeth are slightly bigger. They are available in different widths to match the sizes of the gaps.

To use an interdental brush, gently push it back and forth between your teeth along your gum line, but do not force it, as this can damage your gums.

Ask your dentist, or hygienist, to show you how to use interdental brushes if you are unsure.


Smoking advice:

Children oral hygiene

You can take care of your child’s teeth by:

  • Making sure they brush their teeth regularly
  • Taking them to the dentist regularly
  • Cutting down on sugar

Brushing your child’s teeth

Brushing their teeth is an important part of your child’s daily routine, so they continue the healthy habit as they get older.

Start to brush your baby’s teeth, using a baby toothbrush, as soon as they begin to come through.

Gradually start brushing your child’s teeth more thoroughly. Make sure you clean all the tooth surfaces. Your child’s teeth should be brushed twice every day; last thing at night before bed and at least one other time. Use a small-headed child’s toothbrush suitable for your child’s age. The amount of toothpaste also depends on your child’s age. For children under age three, use a smear or thin film of toothpaste that covers less than three-quarters of the brush. For children aged three to six, use no more than a pea-sized blob of toothpaste.

When your child has finished brushing, encourage them to spit out the toothpaste that’s left, but not to rinse their mouth with lots of water.

Don’t let your child eat or lick toothpaste from the tube. Help your child to brush their teeth or supervise them until they’re at least seven years old.

Fluoride toothpaste
All children should use fluoride toothpaste.

Children under age three should use a toothpaste containing no less than 1,000 ppm (parts per million) fluoride. The packaging will show the level of fluoride in the toothpaste. Older children can use family fluoride toothpaste that contains 1,350-1,500 ppm fluoride.

Visiting the dentist
You can take your child to an NHS dentist as soon as they’re born, before they’ve got any teeth. NHS dental treatment for children is free.

Take your child with you when you go for your own dental appointments, so they get used to the idea. Your child should have regular dental check-ups, as often as your dentist recommends.

Sugar causes tooth decay
Tooth decay is caused by the amount of sugar in sweet food and drinks and how often teeth are in contact with the sugar

Cutting down on sugar
You can try to limit tooth decay by cutting down; how often your child has sugary food and drinks and how much sugary food and drinks they consume. Limit sugary foods to mealtimes. Your child shouldn’t have food and drink with added sugar more than four times a day.

For babies, don’t add sugar to their weaning foods when you introduce them to solids. If your child needs medicine, ask your pharmacist or GP if a sugar-free version is available.

Cavity prevention is not the only concern parents should have when considering their children’s oral health. Recent studies show that periodontal disease continues to plague millions of Americans, including children. The best way to ensure that your child does not get cavities or gingivitis is to instill proper oral habits early. Good oral hygiene routines should be established as early as infancy and continued throughout life.

Registered dental hygienists/dentists may recommend these tips:

  • Even before teeth begin to erupt, thoroughly clean your infant’s gums after each feeding with a water-soaked infant washcloth or gauze pad to stimulate the gum tissue and remove food. When the baby’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
  • A small amount of fluoridated toothpaste will help to inhibit decay. Fluoride is also found in mouth rinses, community water supplies, and in some foods.
  • At age two or three, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques. But remember, you will need to follow up with brushing and gentle flossing until age seven or eight, when the child has the dexterity to do it alone.
  • Schedule regular oral health appointments starting around your child’s first birthday. Your oral health professional will check for cavities in the primary teeth and watch for developmental problems, as well as help to create a positive experience that may alleviate fear at future visits.
  • Allow and encourage your child to discuss any fears he or she might have about oral health visits, but do not mention the words’hurt’ or ‘pain’. Saying “it won’t hurt” instills the possibility of pain in the child’s thought process.
  • Determine if the water supply that serves your home is fluoridated. If there is not fluoride in your water, discuss supplement options with your dental hygienist.
  • Ask your dental hygienist about sealant applications to protect the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth; and about baby bottle tooth decay, which occurs when teeth are frequently exposed to sugar-containing liquids for long periods of time.