Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will help us to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Here are some tips to help look after our teeth:-
- Brush at least twice a day: The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste: Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
- Brush thoroughly: Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.
- Floss your teeth daily: Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.
- Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices: Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes. In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.
- Limit sugary foods: Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
- Protect your teeth from injury: Wear a mouth guard or full face helmet when playing sports.
- Try to save a knocked out tooth: Wrap it in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental advice immediately. It may be possible to put the tooth back.
- Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food: If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
- See your dentist for regular checkups: You should also visit your dentist if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.
Proper Dental Care
The effects of poor dental care range from tooth decay and cavities to gingivitis, periodontists, and tooth loss. Fortunately, proper dental care, including cleaning teeth correctly and regularly, can prevent most of these problems.
If we don’t clean our teeth well every day, we’re putting ourselves at risk for tooth decay. Early signs of decay include visible holes in our teeth, pain when we bite and feelings of sensitivity or pain in our teeth.
When the carbohydrates in the food and drinks that we consume aren’t cleaned from the teeth regularly, they provide fuel for cavity causing bacteria. These bacteria can start forming plaque on teeth within 20 minutes of eating and we clean our teeth more often than twice a day. The truth is, bacteria are almost always present in the mouth, and frequent cleaning and limiting sugary foods that may help prevent decay. Cleaning teeth also helps prevent cavity causing bacteria from progressing to gingivitis, or gum disease.
A Recommended Dental Care Routine
Keep our teeth clean and cavity free by following a regular dental care routine of twice daily tooth brushing and daily flossing. Visit the dentist and dental hygienist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and assessment to catch any problems before they become serious. The dentist or dental hygienist might also recommend a particular type of toothbrush, dental floss or oral rinse to help us get the most daily dental care routine.