Taking care of your teeth and gums from an early age will help your teeth last longer. They are your tools for life, so you need to care for them. Strong clean teeth will reduce the risk of common oral health issues such as tooth decay and gingivitis. Gingivitis is a gum disease and if left untreated, it can lead to Periodontitis which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
What is good Oral Hygiene?
Proper oral hygiene involves twice-daily brushing (preferably with a soft-bristled brush), daily flossing, and a visit to the dentist every six months, or sooner if your dentist recommends it. If you use mouthwash, consult your dentist about the most effective mouthwash for your needs.
To maintain optimum oral health, you should ensure to meet the below criteria:
- A good diet
- Keep hydrated
- Good overall health and fitness
- Optimal oral hygiene routine
- Bi-annual visits to your dentist / dental hygienist
If you have a newborn baby or young children who still have their milk teeth, they need a slightly different oral hygiene routine in the early years. Learn more about children's dentistry here.
Avoid sugary snack and drinks!
Too many sugary and sticky foods, as well as soft drinks or fruit juice, can lead to tooth decay. We're not the only ones that love sugar, the bacteria living inside our mouths thrive on sugar, converting it to acids that damage our teeth. Keeping sugary food and drink to a minimum is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Your overall wellbeing vs. oral health
There are links between poor oral health and other systemic diseases. Most studies show that it is not a causative link (i.e. poor oral health does not cause heart disease), rather those patients already affected by a chronic issue (such as heart disease and diabetes) have more problems trying to manage their disease if their oral health is poor.
It is more difficult to maintain good oral health if you are already chronically ill or on medication, so making sure excellent oral health is maintained while you are healthy will pay dividends in times of illness.
What to expect during a dental check-up!
A check-up appointment at a National Dental Care/DB Dental practice usually starts with a thorough pre-clinical discussion regarding your medical and previous dental history. The dentist then completes a comprehensive examination of your face, neck, and full mouth (including a cancer check of the soft tissues). The dentist and the nurse may take some photographs, digital scans, or x-ray images to better visualise your mouth. They will then sit down with you and discuss their findings. The dentists will inform you of your condition and what options are available for you.
- Brushing Techniques
- How to Floss Correctly
- Gum Disease
- Tooth Damage
- Scale and Polish
You may decide that you would also like a clean performed on the day of your check-up. The dentist or hygienist will then thoroughly remove plaque and stains from your teeth. If you suffer from more advanced gum disease or have a lot of build-up on your teeth, this visit may not be enough to remove it all, but it's a great start towards improving your oral health. You may need to return for an additional visit to complete your cleaning appointment.