Our Tips for a Healthy Mouth
Good oral health can have so many wonderful life-changing benefits. From greater self-confidence to better luck in careers and relationships, a healthy smile can truly transform your visual appearance, the positivity of your mind-set, as well as improving the health of not only your mouth but your body too.
As part of National Smile Month, we have put together a list of our top 25 tips for good oral health, to keep you smiling throughout the campaign.
1. Clean in between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss. This will help to clean a higher portion of the tooth and prevent the build-up of plaque
2. A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables can help to prevent gum disease
3. Eating and drinking naturally weakens the enamel on your teeth, and brushing straight afterwards can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. It is best not to brush your teeth until at least one hour after eating
4. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva to help prevent your mouth from drying out
5. If you are a nervous patient, make sure your dentist knows this, including what you most dislike about treatment
6. To test if you have bad breath, simply lick the inside of your wrist, let it dry and sniff. If the smell is bad, you can be fairly sure you have bad breath
7. Always tell your dentist about changes to your health, as it may help them prevent gum disease from developing
8. A glass of water is the best drink to give your child after eating sugary foods
9. Brush your teeth just before you go to bed and before you have anything to eat or drink at breakfast
10. Use a mouthwash containing anti-bacterial to help control gum disease
11. If you or your child has a sweet tooth, look for sugar-free sweets. Those containing Xylitol can help to reduce tooth decay
12. Quitting smoking will help you reduce the chances of developing a whole host of oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, yellow teeth and mouth cancer
13. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, or use a tongue scraper
14. Visit your dentist or hygienist for regular advice and cleaning tips
15. Introduce your child to the sights and sounds of the dental practice at an early age to allay any dental phobia that might develop. Take them with you when you go for a check-up
16. Wean your baby off the bottle early to avoid them developing dental problems
17. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque. Those with heads that rotate in both directions (‘oscillating’ heads) and pulsate are the most effective. They are particularly useful for people with limited movement, such as disabled or elderly people, who often find that using a manual toothbrush does not allow them to clean thoroughly
18. All children up to three years old, should use a smear of toothpaste with a fluoride level of no less than 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm -1500ppm
19. Parents should supervise their children’s tooth brushing, and use only a pea-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste until they are about 7 years old
20. If you have sensitivity when brushing your teeth with cold water from the tap, you may need to use warm water instead. It is important you do not avoid brushing your teeth regularly as this could make the problem worse
21. Cold sores are infectious and the infecting virus can be passed to other people by close contact (such as kissing). A cold sore is most infectious when it is blistering. It is important to try and avoid touching cold sores as you can pass the virus on to other people’s hands and even, very rarely, to your own eyes. Avoid squeezing, pinching or pricking the cold sore as this can spread the infection
22. If you wear dentures, the general rule is: brush, soak, brush. Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them. Brush your dentures before soaking, to help remove any food debris. Using an effervescent (fizzy) denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher
23. It is better for your teeth and general health if you eat 3 meals a day plus no more than two snacks, instead of having lots of snack attacks
24. Still water and milk are good choices. It is better for your teeth if you drink fruit juices just at meal times. If you are drinking them between meals, try diluting them with water and rinsing your mouth with water after drinking. Drinking through a straw can help the drink go to the back of your mouth without touching your teeth
25. Some dentists may offer home visits for people who are housebound or have difficulty visiting the surgery
Passionate about oral health?
The aim of National Smile Month is to ultimately improve the UK’s oral health.
(Article courtesy of nationalsmilemonth.org)