Healthy mouth tips

    Healthy mouth tips

    07 Nov 2019


    1. Look after your general health.
      • Eat a balanced, healthy diet and cut down on acidic drinks.
      • Avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals.
    1. Look after your teeth and gums.
      • Brush your teeth for two minutes at bedtime and at least on one other occasion every day.
      • For most adults, a toothbrush with a small head and a compact, angled arrangement of long and short round-end bristles is fine. Medium or soft bristles are best for most people.
      • It doesn't matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush. They're both equally good, as long as you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth and you use fluoride toothpaste. But some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush.
      • Make sure you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth, which should take about 2 minutes.
      • Remember to brush the inside surfaces, outside surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Move the toothbrush in small, gentle, circular or scrubbing movements.
      • Flossing isn't just for dislodging food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line.
      • You can use interdental brushes or single-tufted brushes instead of flossing, especially if there are gaps between your teeth.
    1. Make sure your child brushes their teeth properly.
      • Make tooth brushing part of their daily routine – preferably before they go to bed and at least on one other occasion every day.
      • When their first teeth start to come through, use a children's toothbrush with a small smear of toothpaste to clean their teeth and gums.
      • Once all their teeth have come through, use a small-headed toothbrush with soft bristles, suitable for the age of your child.
      • Make small circular movements and concentrate on one section at a time.
      • Don't forget to brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums.
      • Make sure they spit out the toothpaste and don't swallow any if possible.
      • You may find it easier to stand or sit behind your child, cradling their chin in your hand so you can reach their top and bottom teeth more easily.
      • It is important to supervise your child's brushing until they are at least seven.
    1. Help prevent tooth decay in your child.
      • The main cause of tooth decay is how often your child eats or drinks sugary and acidic food and drink, not the amount, so try to keep these to mealtimes only. If you want to give your child a snack, stick to vegetables, fruit and cheese.
      • Some processed baby foods contain quite a lot of sugar, so check the label. The higher up the list of ingredients sugar is, the more there is in the product. Sometimes sugar is called fructose, glucose, lactose or sucrose on labels

    Should you use fluoride toothpaste?

    You find fluoride in lots of things including toothpaste and perhaps the drinking water in your area. These can all help to prevent tooth decay. All children up to three years old should use toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old, they should use toothpaste that contains 1350ppm to 1500ppm. Adults should use toothpaste that contains at least 1350ppm fluoride. You can check the level of fluoride on the toothpaste packaging. If you are unsure about using fluoride toothpaste ask your dentist or health visitor.

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