Back-to-dental-basics

Ensuring a healthy mouth and teeth for the rest of your life requires more than just brushing twice per day. But you can avoid long-term complications like gum disease, cavities, and gingivitis by following 4 simple steps.

1. Brush with fluoride toothpaste

Just two minutes, twice per day will drastically reduce your risk of developing cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste is scientifically shown to aid the development of healthy teeth and prevent the build-up of plaque and cavities.

Brushing is best done using a small head, soft bristle toothbrush, (electric or manual) at a 45-degree angle, while holding the toothbrush at the gum line. Make sure you’re systematic, working from one part of the mouth to another so that you don’t miss any areas.

It may be a pain, but change your toothbrush head! Once the bristles wear down they are no longer effective. You may as well be brushing with a sponge!

2. Floss in between your teeth at least once per day

Many people find flossing painful or uncomfortable, but it is as important as brushing. A large portion of the surface area of the tooth is sitting right next to another tooth, so flossing is vital to get in those hard to reach areas. Your dental hygienist or dentist can demonstrate the correct flossing technique if you need some advice.

If you really struggle with flossing, then there are several new alternatives. Ask your dental professional about other interdental aids that can make cleaning in between your teeth easier such as; floss threaders, floss mate handles, flossettes, and interdental brushes.

3. Mix-up your diet

Eating less sugar is common advice from dentists, but it is easier said than done. If you need a pick-me-up during the day, try nuts, carrot sticks, or apples instead. These teeth friendly foods are not just good for your teeth, they’re good for your waistline too.

In addition to sugary foods, limit your intake of processed foods as well. These are often loaded with sugar, salt, and other preservatives, so try to swap out these for fresh ingredients at least one day per week.

Watch what you drink too. Fizzy drinks are well known to be bad for your teeth, and sugar-free versions aren’t much better. If you’re thirsty, drink tap water instead. If you don’t like the taste, try keeping a bottle in the fridge. It’s much tastier when cold!

Lastly, avoid too much tea and coffee, as these have a nasty habit of staining your teeth. If you haven’t noticed it, check the inside of your teeth next time you brush. You might be surprised.

4. Attend 6-monthly Active Maintenance appointments

Make an Active Maintenance plan with your Dental Hygienist and Dentist at Medland Dental so that you are proactively managing any long-term issues e.g. bruxism, wisdom teeth, or gum disease. Actively monitoring issues might seem more time-intensive, but in the long run you’ll spend much less time, and money, than if you have to come in for a dental emergency.

One of the great things about managing your oral health is that it can be done anywhere, anytime, and worked into your daily routine quite simply. No matter how busy your day is you should always put aside 5 minutes to take care of your teeth. This includes 2 minutes in the morning after breakfast, 2 minutes in the evening prior to bed, and 1 minute whenever suits you to floss your teeth.