In a nutshell- Looking after your Teeth and Mouth
To look after your teeth, prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease…
And ‘yes’, you already know what to do – you have heard these messages before and they just seem to go in one ear and out the other. Why not make this time different and have them just stick!
Think about how often you have sugary snacks and drinks, particularly those with refined sugar- try and cut down a bit and keep sugar clear of bed time. Have sugary drinks and treats with meals where possible and try to munch healthier snacks in between. It is the frequency of sugar that is more a problem than the amount so try and stick to a maximum of 5 intakes a day on average.
Clean your teeth well
Brush properly for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste- the key is properly, not hard just properly with a soft- medium toothbrush and use floss and interproximal brushes in the evening to clean in-between your teeth. And spit out without rinsing – leave the fluoride in there- at least a few times a week. If you have dentures or braces you need to take special care to keep them clean aswell.
Make sure you are getting the right amount of fluoride- that means more if you are a higher risk for dental caries.
Visit the dentist for a check up and clean at least once a year, ideally twice. Your whole mouth will be checked and advice given to help improve your cleaning and reduce the risk of you getting problems. Detection of things in their early stages makes for much easier treatment and that goes for dental caries, gum disease, oral cancer and grinding. Be pro-active in your healthcare.
It’s best for children to be seen every 6 months because of the changes that are going on in their mouths and their diets and because the teeth are more vulnerable when they first erupt into the mouth.
For adults who don’t smoke, have good oral hygiene, low caries risk, eat low sugar diets, have little alcohol and have little or no past dental problems, seeing the dentist once a year may be appropriate. It is generally not sensible to leave it too much longer than that – it depends on your mouth and your individual situation and risk factors/ likelihood of something going wrong. If you suffer from periodontal disease on the other hand, it may be necessary to see you every three months as part of your gum maintenance treatment. Your dentist will advise you.
Fissure sealants or dental sealants can also be very useful in protecting teeth in susceptible teeth and individuals.
The more dental work you have had, the more potential for things to go wrong and so the more important frequent dentist visits and quality home care become. Some insurance companies decide on your premium purely on the back of what treatment you have had done because it’s such a strong indicator of the likelihood of potential future problems.
And you know it…
- Stop SMOKING!!
- Drink plenty of water– it’s good for your teeth, for your body, for your skin, losing weight, energy… believe me I could go on.