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.
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.
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.
To enjoy all-day fresh breath confidence this summer, simply shake it up with Dentyl Dual Action alcohol-free mouthwash. You could even win a gorgeous Turkish cotton towel.
Dentyl Dual Action is a distinctive two phase mouthwash. Shake to activate, then swish and rinse. 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 and is clinically proven to help freshen breath for up to 12 hours.
Our Clinical Advisor, Dr Stephné Fenwick recommends Dentyl Dual Action: “Good oral health is essential for our overall health and well-being. Using an alcohol-free mouthwash, after brushing and cleaning in-between the teeth, is an excellent third and final step to your oral care routine.”
With holidays, festive kisses and summer fun on the horizon, you can trust Dentyl Dual Action to help keep it fresh. For expert advice on how else to beat bad breath read our article.
Show us how you’ll be shaking it up this summer and win a Dentyl Dual Action hamper worth R530 including a gorgeous Turkish cotton towel. Post your pic, video, gif or comment on Facebook or Instagram @ivohealth with the #DentylShakeUp hashtag before 14 December. Ts & Cs apply.
By: Diane Rochford RDH, BSc (Hons); Dental Wellness Trust Oral Hygiene Clinical Advisor
When it comes to cleaning in-between the teeth, what’s more effective – traditional floss or interdental brushes? We asked London-based Diane Rochford (RDH, BSc Hons), Oral Hygiene Clinical Advisor to the Dental Wellness Trust for her expert opinion:
“Every mouth, tooth and space between the teeth is different. Recent studies show that interdental brushes can be more effective than floss, but the key to effective interdental cleaning is doing it daily.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria which adheres to all tooth surfaces. If it’s not removed daily – by brushing and cleaning in between the teeth – the bacteria irritates the gums, causing them to look red and swollen, they may bleed when brushing – these are the signs of early gum disease.
At the Dental Wellness Trust we advocate easy, effective interdental cleaning that fits into your daily oral hygiene routine, to maintain good oral health. There are a range of different products available, but which is best?
Interdental brushes look like miniature bottle brushes, they are available in a range of sizes, easily identified by the colour of the handle. They are designed to fit snuggly between the teeth removing plaque efficiently. They can however be expensive to buy and frequently more than one size of brush is required.
Interdental sticks – like new Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks Advanced – have become increasingly popular and widely available. They are a good alternative to traditional wood sticks, the tapered rubber bristles remove interdental plaque and food debris with ease, they promote good oral hygiene habits and compliance.
Dental floss can also be successful for plaque removal if used daily and with good technique, especially where the interdental spaces are tight. Floss is relatively inexpensive and ‘floss on a handle’ makes it simple and effective to use.
Seeking advice from your dentist or oral hygienist is advised. They will recommend the best product, provide instruction for safe and effective use and motivate for daily use, with the aim of maintaining healthy gums and teeth for life.
Curves are beautiful in any size and Sunstar GUM Soft-Picks Advanced, the only curved dental picks on the market, are now available in small, regular and large options. With a size for every smile, GUM Soft-Picks Advanced are perfect for cleaning narrow or wide interdental spaces.
Designed by Sunstar GUM’s oral care experts especially for effective cleaning in-between, GUM Soft-Picks Advanced are ideal for anyone who finds flossing a fuss, but understands a healthy mouth equals a healthy body. Curved to follow the natural shape of the jaw, the innovative shape makes it easy to reach between each tooth – even those at the far back of the mouth. The soft rubber bristles gently dislodge food and plaque, whilst giving the gums a gentle micro-massage.
Ideal for cleaning orthodontics, bridges and implants, they are safe to use, even for those with sensitive gums. GUM Soft-Picks Advanced are convenient to use on the go, there’s a handy travel case in each pack – and as part of your daily oral care routine.
GUM Soft-Picks Advanced are available from Clicks, selected dentists, Dis-Chem, Pick n Pay and pharmacies at a recommended retail price of R89 (for a pack of 30 including a handy travel case).
GUM Soft-Picks Advanced are recommended by dental professionals around the world. If you’re not sure which size best suits your smile, ask your dentist or oral hygienist for expert advice.
Benefits of GUM Soft-Picks Advanced
- Curved to follow the natural shape of the jaw
- Soft, flexible rubber bristles slide comfortably between teeth to safely remove plaque and food particles
- Now available in 3 sizes to adapt to smaller and larger interdental spaces
- Gently stimulate and micro-massage gums for a pleasant sensation and optimal gum health
- Latex, wood, and metal free
- Recommended by dental professionals
- Suitable for use with orthodontics, bridges and implants
- Free travel case included
Anyone who has ever experienced a mouth ulcer knows that just a little sore in the wrong place can be a big pain. Here’s expert advice from Dirna Grobbelaar, our Oral Hygiene Advisor, to you prevent mouth ulcer misery.
Mouth ulcers only appear inside the mouth, unlike cold sores or fever blisters, which only appear outside, usually on the lips or around the mouth. You’ll find mouth ulcers on the tongue or lining of the mouth, in singles or multiples. They are usually round and reddish.
Causes of Mouth Ulcers:
Most people will experience a sore inside the mouth at some point. These are often caused by a minor injury – biting the cheek accidentally, consuming food or drink that’s too hot, poorly-fitting dentures or braces, especially when orthodontics are initially fitted.
Aphthous ulcers are the ones that recur and often first appear in childhood or adolescence. They tend to return during hormonal changes, times of stress or anytime that the immune system is compromised for some reason.
Some people find eating acidic fruit (like pineapples, tomatoes or oranges) can cause mouth ulcers. Babies and young children might develop them because of common viruses like Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and the Coxsackie Virus.
Stress is a very common trigger for ulcers. They can also be a sign of conditions like coeliac disease or nutritional deficiencies (e.g. vitamin B12 which is common in vegans, zinc, iron or folic acid).
Treatment for Mouth Ulcers:
Mouth ulcers are not contagious and usually clear up by themselves in a few days. A proper oral hygiene routine to keep the mouth as clean as possible help them heal more quickly. For more on the ideal oral care routine when you have ulcers read this blog article.
There are various over-the-counter medications available that help relieve the discomfort and pain. We recommend Aloclair gel or spray which are easy to apply, even in a young child’s mouth. The soothing Aloclair formula contains aloe vera and helps form a barrier over the exposed nerve endings, giving almost immediate relief.
Mouth ulcers tend to last up to 10 to 14 days. Consult your doctor or dentist if your ulcer does not heal within three weeks. Oral cancer is predicted to treble in the next generation and it’s important to rule it out.
Five tips to manage mouth ulcers:
- Avoid very hot, spicy, salty or acidic foods and drink
- Use Aloclair gel or spray to form a protective barrier over the ulcer
- Use a straw when drinking
- Rinse with GUM Alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash, an alcohol-free mouthrinse
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine using GUM Alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash gel (instead of a strong, minty toothpaste) with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush
For further advice speak to your doctor, dentist or pharmacist.
We recommend these products to help manage mouth ulcers:
Aloclair Spray (15ml)
Aloclair Gel (8ml)
These products are available from Dis-Chem, selected pharmacies and dentists.