National Smile Month is the perfect opportunity for you to pay extra attention to the importance of oral health. With this in mind, Karen Coates, Dental Advisor at the British Dental Health Foundation, has eight top tips for terrific teeth.
1. Visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how many teeth you have, you should always follow your dentist’s advice about how often they need to see you.
So why are check-ups so important? Well, for starters prevention is always better than cure. Regular visits to the dentist can identify problems developing early, and more importantly set you on a path to rectify them.
There’s a chance everyone will suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives – it’s that common – so do remember to get to your dentist or hygienist as often as they recommend.
2. Take diet into consideration
Diet may have a large impact on the growing obesity problem in the UK, but there’s no escaping the damage a poor diet does to our teeth.One of the Foundation’s key messages is ‘cut down how often you have sugary foods and drinks’. This is a particularly important message for parents to remember. The more often your child has sugary or acidic foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay. It is therefore important to keep sugary and acidic foods to mealtimes only. Food and drinks which are kindest to teeth include cheese, crackers, breadsticks, raw vegetables, plain water and milk.
It is also worth remembering that some processed baby foods contain quite a lot of sugar. Try checking the list of ingredients – the higher up the list sugar is, the more there is in the product. Sometimes, these are shown as fructose, glucose, lactose, or sucrose.
3. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
It’s important to brush your teeth first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste. Why? During the night the flow of saliva, which is the mouth’s cleaning system, slows down. This leaves the mouth more at risk to decay; therefore brushing acts as a preventive measure.
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