We are getting ready for National Smile Month.

Next week marks the start of National Smile Month, a great opportunity to remind people about their oral health, and how achieving healthy teeth and gums takes daily care. The good news is, taking the right steps and practising every day good oral hygiene (daily habits) you can prevent long-term problems and tooth decay…and you know what they say; prevention is better than cure.

Here are 5 daily habits which we think are crucial.

 

1.Brush before bed.

It is not a surprise to hear that dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, still, many continue to go to bed without brushing. This means germs and plaque that accumulate are left to grow and can cause cavities, gum disease and decay, not to mention bad breath!  Take your time too, moving the brush in gentle motions across each tooth, will ensure you have cleaned properly and removed all the nasties. One last tip!  Don’t forget your tongue…gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

2.Use a good, fluoride toothpaste.

There are a number of brands, colours, tastes and flavours on the market, whichever version you choose, make sure it contains fluoride.  Fluoride protects against tooth decay, and works by fighting germs, as well as providing a protective barrier.  We also recommend mouthwash, as it reduces acid, cleans hard to brush areas, especially if you don’t always floss.

3.Flossing is not optional.

Flossing is messy and can be difficult. There are a number of ready-to-use flossers on the market which makes this job easier, do not give up. Flossing gets rid of the nasties you left behind after brushing and also stimulates the gums and reduces plaque build up.

4.Watch what you eat.

Drink enough water and limit sugary/acidic snack which lead to enamel erosion, which can then lead to cavities.  Eat fresh foods with plenty of fibre and be sure to stay away from too many over processed foods which contain much more sugar.  It is also recommended that by drinking water after your meal, this can help to wash away some of the foods acid which have stuck to your teeth/mouth.
Don’t brush your teeth immediately, but around 20 minutes after eating helps to get rid of odours and sugars/acids left in the mouth.

5.SEE YOUR DENTIST – at least twice a year.

How often should I see the dentist? This is a big one, and crucial for keeping your teeth checked and clean.  During a routine check-up your dentist can remove plaque build-up and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer preventative treatment solutions to keep you and your mouth healthy.  Children, in particular benefit because it allows their newly developing adult teeth to come in strong and healthy. Dental sealants and topical fluoride treatments help prevent decay in your children’s teeth, and this can prevent much bigger, more difficult to treat issues in the future. Take a look here to see what a routine dental check-up involves.