You only have one set of teeth to last you a lifetime. With correct care and oral hygiene routine, it is possible to keep a full set of natural teeth until the end of your lifetime.
There is more to keeping your smile healthy than simply brushing your teeth twice a day. We have put together this guide to advise you on the best way to keep your teeth and gums in the best possible condition.
Attend regular dental appointments
Approximately half of UK adults do not see a dentist on a regular basis. A large number of these people only make an appointment when they are in pain, or notice something is wrong with their teeth.
We recommend booking an appointment to see a dentist every six months. However, every patient is different and you will be advised on how often you should visit a dentist. Having your mouth examined by a dentist means that they will be able to spot any warning signs and potential problems before they develop. This often means that treatment is easier, quicker and sometimes cheaper.
As well as visiting the dentist, we would always recommend having appointments with a dental hygienist. The hygienist will perform a thorough clean of the teeth and gum line. This process is called a scale and polish and is completely painless. As well as performing this clean, they will also be able to offer expert advice on how you can keep your mouth healthy at home between visits.
Keep an eye on your diet
There are many food and drinks that can cause damage to your teeth. Acidic food and drinks such as; citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, tomatoes, red wine, vinegar and much more can cause erosion to the enamel. Enamel is what protects your teeth from decay, and cannot repair itself. People with damaged enamel may also experience tooth sensitivity that can be very uncomfortable when eating cold or hot food.
Food and drink that contains high amounts of sugar are also harmful for your teeth. Sugar produces bacteria that will accelerate the production of plaque around the teeth. If not removed correctly, plaque will start to eat away the teeth, eventually causing tooth decay.
By keeping an eye on what you eat and drink, you can significantly improve your chances of keeping your teeth decay free. When you do indulge in some sugary treats, it is a good idea to drink some water afterwards to neutralise the acids in the mouth quicker. You can follow this by chewing some sugar-free gum.
Following a good oral health routine
The first step to maintaining excellent oral health is choosing the correct toothbrush. We recommend electric brushes as patients find them easy to use. However, manual brushes can also be just as effective if used correctly. Your brush should have soft bristles and should fit comfortably in all areas of your mouth. Your brush should be replaced at least every three months, or after you have been unwell.
A good daily oral health routine consists of brushing, flossing and rinsing. You should be brushing your teeth, with fluoride toothpaste, twice per day for two minutes each time. As well as this, you should floss your teeth at least once per day. Flossing cleans between your teeth, which brushing alone would never do. Flossing doesn’t need to be carried out at the same time as brushing, as long as you are doing it during the day.
Rinsing your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash is also a great way to achieve a clean feeling, as well as keeping your breath fresh throughout the day. However, you shouldn’t use it at the same time as brushing, as it can wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste that is protecting your teeth.
Use fluoride regularly
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth and helps to prevent cavities. Some areas in the UK have fluoridated tap water, but if you do not live in these areas, you can still get fluoride from toothpaste and some mouthwashes.
There is a recommended amount of fluoride that you should be having everyday to protect your teeth. Toothpastes all contain a different amount of fluoride, so it is important to check the label before you use it. Children under three years old should use a smear of toothpaste that contains no less than 1000ppm fluoride. Children between three and six should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains more than 1000ppm fluoride. Adults should use a toothpaste that contains 1350-1500ppm fluoride.
At The Dentist at Liberty Place, we have highly trained dentists and dental hygienists to help you maintain a clean and healthy smile for as many years as possible. Find out more about our Dental Hygiene and Prevention treatment and advice here.
To book an appointment with us, call us on 0121 633 9535 or click here.