This year the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has chosen the theme “Keep Your Smile for Life” for dental health week. Keeping your smile for life is something a lot of people think is unrealistic as they believe that it is normal to lose teeth to decay or gum disease as you get older. But by following a few simple recommendations you can improve your oral health and hopefully be able to keep your teeth for the rest of your life.
The 4 key messages from ADA
Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
Clean in between your teeth daily with either floss or interdental brushes
Consume a healthy, balanced diet and limit your added sugar intake
Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative care
Aim to brush 2x daily (once in the morning and once in the evening ideally) for at least 2 mins and use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head that can reach all surfaces of the teeth. Try not to use firm toothbrushes or apply to much pressure (often happens with “scrubbing” motion) as it may cause damage to the teeth and gums. Use an age-appropriate toothpaste containing fluoride and after brushing spit out the excess and avoid rinsing to allow the fluoride remnants to stay on the teeth for longer. Don’t forget to replace your tooth brush every 3 months!
Alongside brushing it is important to clean in-between your teeth daily with either floss or interdental brushes. Children’s teeth should be flossed as well when the teeth are touching. Your dentist will often recommend what interdental product or technique is best suited for you.
To reduce your risk of decay, try and consume a healthy, balanced diet with limited added sugar as this is the single-biggest cause of tooth decay. Fluoridated tap water is the best drink for your teeth and if you do consume sugary/acidic drinks (i.e., soft drinks, juices, energy drinks, alcohol) try and limit to meal times, drink through a straw and rinse with tap water afterwards. Try to limit snacking throughout the day as it increases the amount of acid attacks the teeth have to withstand but some good options are cheese, nuts and vegetables.
Visiting the Dentist in Tamworth
Alongside these good habits that you can practice at home, it is recommended you visit the dentist at least once a year for a check-up, clean and preventative care. Depending on your oral health, your dentist may advise you attend more frequently so they can monitor for tooth decay, gum disease and screen for oral cancers.
By following these 4 key messages you will give yourself the best chance of “keeping your smile for life”.