Take a #FreshBreathCheck this February
Is your oral care routine on point? Take the Sunstar GUM FreshBreathCheck this February to find out. You could win oral care prizes worth over R2,500 (including a year of oral hygiene treatments). Better still, when you enter, Sunstar GUM will donate a toothbrush to the Dental Wellness Trust on your behalf. Terms and conditions apply.
Dentist Dr Linda Greenwall is founder of the Dental Wellness Trust, which teaches oral hygiene skills to over 15, 000 children in poorly-resourced areas of Cape Town and Johannesburg. “Brushing the teeth correctly is essential for good oral health, fresh breath and to prevent cavities. Yet when they first join us, many children don’t know basic oral care or own a toothbrush. It’s no surprise that so many South African children have dental disease by the age of six.”
You can learn more about our commitment to this worthy cause here.
How did your oral routine score in the #FreshBreathCheck? If you didn’t score top marks you are not alone! According to experts, around half of South Africans suffer from bad breath and it is often due to inadequate oral hygiene.
If you would like to improve your oral health, read this article which spells out the four essential steps for fresh breath and a healthier mouth.
Expert advice for a brighter, whiter smile
A smile has been described as the most beautiful curve on the human body. Here’s 7 tips from Dirna Grobbelaar, our Oral Hygiene Advisor, to help you achieve your brightest, whitest smile – naturally.
- Clean your teeth correctly twice a day for a full two minutes each time.
- Clean in-between your teeth every day using floss or one of Sunstar GUM’s interdental tools such as Soft-Picks advanced.
- Go to the oral hygienist for a professional cleaning (ideally every six months).
- Use Sunstar GUM Original White toothpaste, floss and rinse to restore the original whiteness of teeth and prevent further staining.
- Use the Philips Sonicare rechargeable powerbrush – clinically proven to make teeth up to two shades whiter in two weeks.
- Brush, rinse with water or chew sugar-free gum after consuming berries, coke, coffee, tea or red wine. Green tea, white and herbal teas are less likely to stain than black tea.
- Don’t smoke.
The Sunstar GUM Original White range helps restore the original, natural whiteness of the teeth, effectively removing stains and helping prevent their reappearance. With its fortified fluoride content, GUM Original White protects and remineralises tooth enamel, providing maximum protection from decay and giving a smooth finish for enhanced shine.
The Sunstar GUM Original White range incorporates three quality products for a complete oral care routine:
- Sunstar GUM Original White Toothpaste contains fluoride to reinforce tooth enamel, as well as vitamins for healthier gums. It contains low-abrasive micro-silica to gently remove surface stains and a unique StainClear agent to help dissolve stains in hard-to-reach areas.
- Sunstar GUM Original White Floss, made with micronized silica, helps remove stains between teeth and provides effective interdental plaque control.
- Alcohol-free Sunstar GUM Original White Rinse also contains StainClear to help remove stains from in-between the teeth as well as tiny crevices in tooth enamel. Made with fluoride and vitamins Original White Rinse delivers a protective coating over the tooth surface to prevent further staining.
For maximum benefit use the full Original White range and floss, brush and rinse daily.
What’s so different about Dentyl Dual Action?
What the dentist recommends and what we actually do to keep our mouths healthy, isn’t always in sync: brushing teeth for a full 2 minutes morning and evening; flossing every single day; not eating in-between meals … the list goes on. But when it comes to Dentyl Dual Action, dentists and patients seem to be on the same page.
Dental professionals recommend Dentyl Dual Action because it’s alcohol-free and has superior plaque-fighting power. People recommend it for many reasons. Here’s a few, pulled from product reviews we’ve recently received:
“It’s the best mouthwash I have ever used. It looks attractive, taste good, it works, it has no alcohol, it is gentle and does not sting, reasonably priced and overall definitely a winner!” — Homairah Dhorat
“Ek hou verskriklik van Dentyl mouthwash. Dit help my met sensitiewe gums. Eers kon ek nie koue of warm goed eet of drink nie, maar nou eet en drink ek amper alles. Dentyl mouthwash is n redding en ek gebruik dit nou gereeld en dit hou my mond vars.” — Lameez Williams
“If you have tried Dentyl Dual Action, you will never use any other mouthwash. Firstly, this mouthwash gets rid of the plaque, which you can clearly see in the basin after rinsing and gargling. Secondly, it leaves your mouth and breath fresh for 12 hours! The natural essential oils do not sting or dry your mouth. Use ½ a cap, twice a day.” — Jeanette Ras
“The best is the glitter my grandkids love …they call it unicorn juice.”— Brenda Fernandes
What do you enjoy most about Dentyl Dual Action? Is it the two distinct phases, the sparkle or its plaque-fighting power? Tell us today and leave a product review at the bottom of the product information paragraph. We’d love to hear what you think. If you haven’t already tried it, go on and #FeelTheDentylDifference!
You’ll find Dentyl Dual Action at Dis-Chem, selected dentists, Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar & pharmacies.
PS: Congratulations to Abeda Albertyn and Brenda Fernandes, winners of our #FeelTheDentylDifference competition. For more chances to win, follow us on Facebook or Instagram for news, expert oral care tips and regular competitions. Or subscribe to our monthly newsletter on our Ivohealth website home page.
Whilst blood sugar control may be the most immediate concern for people affected by diabetes, it’s also important to take special care of the mouth, due to a potentially high risk of oral disease. For World Diabetes Day (14 November) our oral hygiene advisor Dirna Grobbelaar, shares expert information on maintaining a healthy mouth even when you have diabetes.
Oral health conditions associated with diabetes include gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath. Emerging research suggests a link between poorer glycaemic control in people and advanced gum disease (periodontitis).
The cause of many of the oral health problems that can affect people with diabetes is increased levels of glucose in the saliva. This creates an ideal breeding ground for the oral bacteria that cause bad breath, cavities and gum disease. People with diabetes also tend to have a lower resistance to infection and heal more slowly, which can exacerbate gum problems.
The best approach is prevention, through meticulous oral care. Brush correctly for two minutes, at least twice a day. Use a manual or power brush with soft bristles. Daily flossing to clean in-between is important. If you find floss too firm, try an interdental brush or gentle Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks. After eating, or for extra freshness, rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash like Dentyl Dual Action or Sunstar GUM antibacterial mouthrinse.
Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is another common side effect, an estimated 42% of people with diabetes experience reduced saliva flow. It may be an early sign prior to a diabetes diagnosis. Because saliva is the body’s natural way of cleaning the mouth, plaque and bacteria build up more quickly in a dry mouth, increasing the likelihood of gum disease, decay and bad breath. Drinking water will give temporary relief and chewing gum can stimulate saliva flow. There are also products especially developed to help produce saliva, such as Sunstar GUM Hydral Moisturising Gel and Moisturising Spray that lubricate, soothe, promote soft tissue repair and create a protective coating in the mouth.
Bleeding gums usually indicate gum disease, which is reversible if treated correctly in the early stages. You might find your gums bleed a little if you start flossing or become more diligent in your oral care routine. However this should only last a day or two, so it’s important to consult your dental professional if your gums bleed for longer. Treatment products like Sunstar GUM’s antibacterial mouth rinse and toothpaste are recommended.
Work as a team with your dentist and oral hygienist. Ensure that they know that you have diabetes. Book a check-up and professional clean at least every six months, or more if necessary. Here’s to living healthier with diabetes!
Cast your vote & win !
This September, National Oral Health Month, the Sunstar GUM #HealthySmiles123 campaign focuses on the 3 daily steps dental professionals recommend for a beautiful, healthy smile – brush, clean in-between and rinse.
But what should come first – brush, floss or rinse? The Sunstar GUM #HealthySmiles123 poll is asking your opinion. Cast your vote here and you could WIN a Sunstar GUM kit worth over R800. Ts & Cs apply.
This amazing prize has all the quality Sunstar GUM oral care tools required for an effective daily oral care routine. Valued at over R800 it includes 2 x ActiVital Sonic toothbrushes (the sleekest sonic around); Original White toothpaste; Original White floss; Easy-Flossers and alcohol-free Original White Mouthrinse.
With Sunstar GUM healthy smiles are as simple as 1, 2, 3
- Brush – brush correctly twice a day for two minutes each time. Use the Sunstar GUM ActiVital Sonic Toothbrush for extra power. Its ultra-tapered bristles are scientifically proven to remove up to 50% more plaque from between the teeth and under the gumline!
- Clean In-Between – clean in-between the teeth once a day with floss or whatever interdental tool suits you best. Sunstar GUM has the widest range in South Africa, if you’re not sure which best suits your mouth ask your oral hygienist or dentist for advice. For top tips on how to ‘floss like a boss’ here’s our quick video tutorial.
- Rinse – for an extra-clean mouth use an alcohol-free mouthwash like GUM Original White mouth rinse.
Remember to see your dentist at least once a year and have a professional clean with the oral hygienist every 6 months.
A red, chapped nose is one of the more visible side-effects of colds and flu, for children and adults. Here’s five practical ways to prevent a sore or raw nose this winter, from mom of three, our Oral Hygiene Advisor, Dirna Grobbelaar.
A runny nose can cause dryness and chafing as frequent blowing and wiping, strips natural moisture from the skin and causes irritation.
Apply some type of barrier cream like Letibalm, petroleum jelly or coconut oil to form a protective layer over the skin. Letibalm is ideal as it’s the only product available in South Africa specifically designed to protect and repair the delicate skin around the nose and lips. It’s made with natural and active ingredients including ancient healing herb centella asiatica with proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties; nourishing cocoa butter and antioxidant vitamin E.
Whichever balm you use, it’s vital to apply it several times a day, especially before and after blowing the nose. Keep a tub or tube of Letibalm handy in your bag, child’s school bag and the car, so there is one available whenever needed.
Wiping with the correct tissues will minimise irritation. Wet wipes aren’t suitable as they may contain cleansers, chemicals or other irritants; rather use a soft tissue, ideally ones infused with aloe vera or calendula. Instead of wiping the nose, gently pat or dab the skin.
Blowing the nose less often will help prevent ‘tissue burn’. Rinsing the nostrils with a saline spray or homemade saline solution can help clear stuffiness. Buy a nasal spray at the pharmacy or make your own saline solution with a cup of cool, boiled water and half a teaspoon of salt.
Steam helps relieve congestion and moistens the nasal passages, another good reason to enjoy hot soups and herbal teas when you’re feeling under the weather. Steaming your face over a bowl of hot water under a towel may be helpful, or sit in a sauna or steamy bathroom, probably a safer steaming method for children.
Keeping the body and skin hydrated is important in preventing dry skin. Using a humidifier can add moisture to the air. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water or herbal tea, is always recommended and especially when you have the sniffles. A clean washcloth soaked in warm water can be used to gently moisturise the face. Avoid harsh soaps, facial scrubs or anti-ageing products but do use plenty of moisturiser to keep the skin soft, in addition to a balm around the nose and lips.
The best advice is to do all you can to stay well this winter. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet; get lots of fresh air and exercise; regularly wash your hands to avoid germs. But should the sniffles strike, these few simple steps can make it nicer for your nose.
Five tips to prevent a chapped nose this winter:
- Regularly apply a barrier cream, such as Letibalm nose and lip repair
- Use soft tissues, ideally infused with aloe vera or calendula. Gently pat rather than wipe
- Blow the nose as little as possible. Use a saline spray or solution to help clear stuffiness
- Use steam to moisturise the skin and help relieve congestion
- Keep the skin hydrated and mucous thin – use a humidifier and drink plenty of fluids
Introducing a new addition to the family
Letibalm, the number one lip balm in Spain and Portugal, is the only nose and lip repair available in South Africa. Now there’s a new addition to the Letibalm family – Letibalm Junior Nose and Lip Repair Fluid, for children of 1 year and older.
Blowing the nose frequently, whether due to allergies, colds or flu, can easily leave the delicate skin around the nose and lips chapped, red and sore. Letibalm is specifically designed to protect and care for the lips, nose and the skin in-between. It gently moisturises the skin, helps repair painful cracks, soothes irritation and helps create a protective layer on the skin to prevent further chapping.
New Letibalm Junior Nose & Lip Repair Fluidis especially for children 1 year and older. It easily glides onto the skin and has a delicious strawberry flavour. It’s made with natural and active ingredients shown to nourish, soothe and protect the skin. These include:
African mango, cocoa butter and shea butter to moisturize, nourish and protect
Allantoin to aid healing
Antioxidant vitamin E
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) to prevent lip rash and cold sores
Menthol and camphor to ease breathing
Witch hazel (hammamelis Virginia)
Centella (centella asiatica) an ancient healing herb with proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties
Use Letibalm Junior Nose and Lip Repair Fluid to soothe dry lips, skin rash, chafing and cheilitis.
For babies under 1 year old use Letibalm Paediatric Nose and Lip Repair Balm.
Letibalm Junior Nose and Lip Repair is available in a 10ml tube at a recommended retail price of R76 from Dis-Chem, selected Checkers and independent pharmacies.
For expert advice on caring for the skin during winter read our Winter Skincare blog post.
World Oral Health Day – 20 March 2019
Oral ill-health is a global problem; around 90% of the world’s population will experience tooth decay, gum disease or other oral diseases at some point in their lives. In South Africa, where we have limited dental public health services, an estimated 60% of primary school children already have dental decay; the majority will not receive treatment.
Fortunately, most oral diseases are preventable and prevention is the key message to this year’s World Oral Health Day on 20 March. The FDI World Dental Federation is calling on everyone to take action to prevent oral disease and protect their overall health with the theme ‘Say Ahh: Act on Mouth Health’.
Our Oral Hygiene Advisor, Dirna Grobbelaar, agrees that taking action and following an effective daily oral care routine is vital to maintain a healthy mouth for life. She recommends these three daily steps for good oral health:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, using a manual or powerbrush, like the new Sunstar GUM ActiVital Sonic toothbrush. World Oral Health Day tip: don’t rinse with water straight after brushing, simply spit out any excess toothpaste.
- Clean in-between the teeth every day, using floss or another tool, such as Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks or tiny interdental If you’re not sure how to do it correctly, or what tool to use, ask your dentist or oral hygienist
- Rinse, either as a final step, after eating or when brushing isn’t possible. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash containing fluoride (like Dentyl Dual Action or Sunstar GUM Original White) or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva and naturally ‘rinse’ the mouth.
In addition to your daily three step oral care routine, the World Oral Health Day campaign recommends several lifestyle tips for a healthy mouth, including:
- Eat a nutritious diet and limit high-sugar snacks and drinks. In a bid to reduce non-communicable ‘lifestyle’ diseases, including dental caries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommends reducing ‘free’ sugar consumption to less than 5% of total energy intake.
- Don’t smoke and limit alcohol. Tobacco and alcohol increase the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. If you use a mouthwash, choose an alcohol-free variety (like Dentyl Dual Action or Sunstar GUM Original White or Alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash).
- If you do contact sport, protect your teeth with a mouth guard.
Dirna advises that everyone has regular dental check-ups and cleanings. “If possible see the dentist at least once a year and ideally have a professional scale and polish every six months. The dentist or oral hygienist can remove plaque and tartar that you are unable to remove by brushing. If not removed, the build-up will irritate the gums and cause gum disease.”
Prevention, early detection and prompt treatment will help you reduce the risk of oral diseases and ensure the best treatment outcome. For the sake of your health, it’s time to wise-up on your oral hygiene and ‘Act on Mouth Health’.
For more expert oral care advice speak to your dental professional or sign up for our monthly Ivohealth newsletter, packed with expert info, news and competitions.
To test your oral health know-how complete the World Oral Health Day checklist www.worldoralhealthday.org.
Expert advice for fresh breath
According to experts, around half of South Africans suffer from bad breath and this is often due simply to inadequate oral hygiene. We asked three dental professionals to explain the most essential steps to help you beat bad breath for good.
Dr Linda Greenwall is a London-based dentist who founded the Dental Wellness Trust. Their South African LiveSmart programme currently teaches good oral care to 15,000 children in poorly-resourced areas of Cape Town and Johannesburg. Greenwall says many South Africans don’t know the basic oral skills: “When they first join us many children don’t own a toothbrush, they may share one with their family. It’s unsurprising so many have dental disease before the age of six. Brushing the teeth correctly twice a day is essential for good oral health, fresh breath and to prevent cavities.”
This isn’t only a problem in low-income areas; according to Angelique Kearney, President of the Oral Hygiene Association of South Africa (OHASA). ”More than half of South Africans suffer from bad breath, medically known as halitosis. It goes hand in hand with poor oral hygiene, gum disease and other oral health issues. Only a very small percentage of cases of oral malodour are caused by sinus problems or metabolic diseases.”
Bad breath is caused by bacteria on the teeth, gums and tongue. “If bacteria, plaque and food debris are not properly removed from the mouth they break down and release foul-smelling gases, irritate the gums and potentially cause disease,” says Dirna Grobbelaar, Ivohealth’s Oral Hygiene Advisor.
“Additional tools like an alcohol-free mouthwash and toothpaste are helpful, but most important part of your oral care routine is the mechanical removal of plaque on the teeth”, says Kearney.
All three experts agree an effective daily oral care routine is the best way to keep the mouth healthy and breath fresh. Grobbelaar explains the four essential steps to beat bad breath:
- Brush correctly twice a day for a full two minutes each time, this will remove about 50% of plaque. Use a soft-bristled brush and small movements. Don’t brush hard, it can damage your gums. Sonic toothbrushes – like the Philips Sonicare or Sunstar GUM ActiVital Sonic have been shown to remove more plaque than a manual brush.
- Clean in-between the teeth every day, using floss or another interdental tool, such as Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks or tiny interdental brushes. If you’re not sure how to do it correctly, or which tool to use, ask your dental professional. These videos will help you can floss like a boss.
- Remove plaque and food debris from the tongue by gently scraping the surface once a day using a teaspoon or a tool specially designed for the job like the Sunstar GUM Tongue Cleaner.
- In addition to your daily routine, book an appointment with your dentist at least once a year and ideally go for a professional clean every six months. Dentists and oral hygienists have the expertise and tools to remove plaque and tartar that you can’t, even with the most meticulous oral routine.
To check if your oral routine is really effective, try Sunstar GUM Red-Cote Disclosing Tablets, available from dentists and pharmacies. Simply chew one of the cherry-flavoured tablets after brushing to reveal any areas you’ve missed, then brush and floss again until your mouth is completely clean. These are great tools to help teach children good oral hygiene.
For expert oral advice, speak to your dental professional or subscribe to our monthly newsletter for up-to-date info and news.
If you’re planning a detox or diet after holiday over-indulging, be warned – bad breath can be more common among people who diet. The bacteria that cause oral malodour thrive in a dry environment. Usually the mouth is kept moist with saliva which is produced when we eat and sleep. Skipping meals dries out the mouth, and creates ideal conditions for the bacteria that cause bad breath.
Drinking plenty of water may give some relief. Our Clinical Advisor, Dr Stephné Fenwick, also recommends Dentyl Dual Action: “After brushing and cleaning in-between the teeth, rinse with alcohol-free Dentyl Dual Action – it’s an excellent third and final step to your oral care routine and will provide extra fresh breath confidence.”
Clinically proven to help freshen breath for up to 12 hours, Dentyl Dual Action is a distinctive two phase mouthwash. Simply shake to activate, then swish and rinse. Dentyl Dual Action will lift bacteria and plaque from teeth and gums. For visible proof, look in the sink!
It’s the two phases that makes Dentyl Dual Action so effective yet gentle. Aqua-based antibacterial phase one helps remove bacteria; phase two contains natural essential oils that help gently moisturise oral tissue. Because it’s alcohol-free, Dentyl Dual Action doesn’t sting or dry out the mouth. It contains fluoride to support healthy teeth and gums.
Dentyl Dual Action is recommended by dental professionals around the world and available from Dis-Chem, Clicks, selected Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar & pharmacies.