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Looking after your teeth

Looking after your teeth
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One of the most important elements of personal hygiene we can teach our kids is how to look after their teeth properly. Not only are they important in helping chew the food we eat and keeping our gums healthy, great teeth also make us look and feel happier and more confident. So it’s important to take care of them and keep them at their best.

Brushing

Brushing teeth twice a day is the greatest defence against unhealthy teeth. Use fluoride toothpaste twice a day and brush for around two minutes. Young children should use a toothpaste suitable to their age group and kids under seven should be supervised when brushing. Regular brushing helps keep plaque at bay and so reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

Tips

  • Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months
  • You may notice that an electric toothbrush with a rotating head is more effective than a manual brush
  • Spit out excess toothpaste but don’t rinse your mouth after brushing

Flossing

Flossing is a well-used method of removing bits of food from between the teeth but it is also helpful in preventing gum disease. The action of flossing removes plaque from the surface of the gums and can help improve bad breath.

Tips

  • Floss before brushing your teeth
  • Use 8-10 strokes between each tooth and around the gum line
  • Floss up and down as far as the floss will go
Looking after your teeth

Mouthwash

Mouthwash isn’t an essential part of your dental hygiene routine but it does have its advantages, such as helping prevent tooth decay.

Tips

  • Don’t use mouthwash straight after you’ve brushed your teeth
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after a meal
  • Don’t eat for half an hour after using mouthwash

Cut down on sugar

As well as contributing to weight issues, consuming too much sugar can have a horrible effect on your teeth. Whenever you eat sugar your mouth responds by producing acid. This acid can attack the enamel of the teeth and is a factor in tooth decay.

Tips

Visit the dentist

Regular visits to the dentist helps catch any potential problems early and makes sure your teeth are in tip-top condition. Most people won’t need to attend check ups more than twice a year, though your dentist will advise you on how often to go.

Tips

  • Try to register the whole family with the same dentist to cut down on the number of trips you have to make
  • Be honest with your dentist about your lifestyle
  • Relax and remember your dentist is there to help you avoid, not cause, pain

Good dental hygiene habits are valuable in so many ways, from keeping us healthy to giving us a bright smile. Instilling these habits from an early age is vital if you want your kids to grow up with healthy teeth. Dentists may be able to deep clean teeth and treat any problems but the day-to-day care of your teeth is up to you.

 

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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