The best way to combat dental problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. We have compiled a list of our top ten tips for maintaining a healthy mouth.
Brush your teeth and gums twice daily, with fluoride toothpaste, for at least 2 minutes. Remember to clean every surface of every tooth twice daily.
Simply spit out after toothbrushing. Do NOT rinse with water as this washes the fluoride protection away.
Use an electric toothbrush with a small round head. Tests show that powered brushes tend to be up to twice as effective, at removing bacterial plaque from the teeth and gums, than a manual toothbrush.
Remember to also clean BETWEEN your teeth at least once every day. Use interdental cleaning aids such as dental floss, dental tape or interdental brushes to clear trapped food and plaque from between your teeth. This is essential as even an electric toothbrush will not clean effectively between your teeth.Brushing alone only cleans up to about 60 percent of the surfaces of your teeth.
Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily (ideally at a time other than when you brush your teeth). This will help freshen your breath and increase protection throughout the day. Most mouthwashes contain antibacterial ingredients to help prevent gum disease, and fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.
Reduce your consumption (amount and frequency) of sugary food & drinks. Food and drinks containing sugar cause tooth decay.
Reduce your consumption(amount and frequency) of carbonated (fizzy) drinks and fruit juices as they can cause dental erosion. Dental erosion is the loss of enamel caused by acid attack. Foods and drinks that contain acid, such as citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, smoothies, 'sparkling' water, fruit juice and fruit teas, can all cause dental erosion if you consume them often.
Do not smoke tobacco.Smoking can cause tooth staining, bad breath, tooth loss, mouth cancer and make gum disease worse. If you smoke, you may need to visit the dentist or hygienist more often, but the best advice is to try to give up.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcoholic drinks can also cause mouth cancer and if you smoke and drink you're more at risk.
Visit your dentist regularly, and as often as recommended, in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease and ultimately maintain a healthy mouth for life.