Gum disease and tooth decay strike fear in even the healthiest smiles, but the good news is they can be prevented. There are some super easy steps you can take to keep those gnashers healthy and make sure they still sparkle:
1. Brush twice a day
Even if you’re against the clock in the morning or desperate for an early night after a busy day, you need to find time to brush your choppers. Just two minutes every morning and evening is all you need to reduce your chances of gum disease and tooth decay.
2. Brush along to a song
If your toothbrush doesn’t have a timer it can be hard to work out exactly how long you’ve been brushing for, but a great way around this is to brush along to your favourite tune. Most songs are between two and four minutes long, so it’s a fab way to make brushing more fun!
It’s important to floss because it picks up where your toothbrush left off. When you brush normally, you won’t get to those cheeky gaps in between the teeth, but flossing can do that job. It gets rid of icky food debris and bacteria to stop plaque from forming.
4. Don’t forget your dentist!
Regular check-ups can cut down your risk of mouth problems and help keep your teeth all sparkly and clean.
5. Use fluoride toothpaste
This will help to protect that tough enamel layer on the outside of your teeth, to keep harm away from the sensitive dentine underneath.
6. Watch out for red flags
Keep an eye out for signs like toothache, extra sensitivity, bleeding or swollen gums and call your dentsit if any of these show up. It’s always best to get symptoms treated early, before they get out of hand and become something worse!
7. Avoid sugary snacks
When we eat, our enamel goes a bit softer for a while, so it can only fight against a small number of acid attacks a day. Try not to snack too much and stick to your main meals. If you do get peckish in between, keep away from sugary or acidic delights as these are the worst offenders for tooth decay.
8. Wait before you brush
If you brush straight after eating, it can actually damage your enamel, so it’s better to wait at least 45 minutes before picking up your toothbrush, giving your enamel chance to harden again.
9. Try to stop smoking
Not only does smoking stain your teeth, it also makes gum disease and loads of other health problems a lot more likely. Your dentist might be able to give you some good advice about how to quit if you are struggling.
10. Watch what you eat
Eating a lot of sugar spells bad news for our oral health, so keep an eye on your diet and look out for pesky ’hidden sugars’ in the foods you eat. These are often lurking in ready meals and hot drinks from chain coffee shops.