A 10 Point Plan For A Healthier Mouth

Making a few small improvements in your life can help you to maintain healthy teeth and gums

Flossing teethMost of us probably wish that there was a simple solution to our everyday problems, including around our self image. How many of us would simply pop a pill and have an instant six pack if we could? Probably a great many of us.

Unfortunately, that is just a fantasy and that also applies when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth. There is not one single thing that will keep teeth and gums healthy, but a combination of things.

Many of our Foxhall Dental Practice patients will almost certainly do at least some of these, but take a look at the following ten tips that your local Ipswich dentists have put together and see if there is any room for improvement in the way that you care for your teeth and gums.

1 – Have the right tools

Any tradesman will tell you that to do a job well, you need the right equipment, and looking after your teeth and gums is no different. Make sure that you have a good quality toothbrush (electric is best) and that the bristles aren’t worn down. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and doesn’t include additional abrasive ingredients as can be the case with some teeth whitening toothpastes. Make sure that you also have some dental floss. We will discuss that a little later.

2 – Take time to do it right

Our lives are often busy but that doesn’t mean we have an excuse to skip looking after our teeth. This doesn’t take very long at all and brushing should last for just 2 minutes both morning and night. Where children are concerned, please make sure that this is 2 minutes of actual brushing and doesn’t include having a brush in the mouth whilst talking to you. Using floss will only take a short time too, so both morning and evening oral health routines should take between 10 and 15 minutes in total; a small investment in time in return for a healthier mouth.

3 – Check your daily habits

The big habit here that needs to be put into check is smoking. Although fewer people smoke these days, the numbers are still too high. Smoking plays a significant role in oral cancer, gum disease and tooth loss, so if you haven’t already quit, please do so as soon as you can. Pay attention too, to those little things that you do and whether they might damage your teeth. You would be surprised how many people we see each year who have broken or chipped teeth by opening crisp packets with them for example; and also , never, ever, use your teeth to open a bottle!

4 – Don’t give up on flossing

Flossing is actually pretty easy to do despite the fact that many people give up soon after starting. Adding flossing to your routine is a great way to improve your oral health as it helps to remove both food and bacteria from between the teeth in places where a toothbrush won’t reach, helping to minimise the risk of gum disease. Our dental hygienist or dentist will always be happy to demonstrate how to use this correctly.

5 – Watch what you eat and drink

We know that sugar is bad for our teeth and keeping an eye on this is important. If you do really feel that you can’t do without your daily sugar intake, try to eat foods that won’t stick to your teeth. For example, chocolate will be washed away from your teeth much quicker than a chewy toffee. Try also to rinse your mouth with water soon after as this will help to remove a lot of the sugar that has become stuck to your teeth. As for drinks, try to consume those with less sugar and do avoid high sugar fizzy drinks, especially ‘sports’ drinks. Not only are these high in sugar but are very acidic too. This can damage the protective enamel on your teeth.

6 – Drink water

Not only will drinking water help to wash away sugars from your teeth, but it is also a great replacement for those very sugary drinks that too many of us consume. Drinking sufficient water is also a great way to avoid having a dry mouth, a well known common precursor to gum disease as it allows the potentially harmful bacteria to thrive. Drinking water is also good for our general health and well being. There is no need to drink expensive bottled water; tap water is perfectly fine.

7 – Don’t ignore warning signs

If you have a niggling pain in a tooth, even if you think that it is perfectly manageable, please don’t ignore it. Any dental problem is always better dealt with sooner rather than later. Doing so may well mean that you need less invasive treatment and it may even mean the difference between saving a tooth and losing it.

8 – Keep regular dental appointments

This should go without saying. Make sure that you keep a six monthly appointment at the Foxhall Dental Practice for a check up. Some patients may need to do this more frequently if they are at a higher risk of dental problems. If you don’t currently have an appointment, please call us today to arrange one.

9 – See a dental hygienist

Seeing the hygienist should be a regular part of your oral healthcare plan and not an ‘optional extra’. Having a regular six monthly scale and polish to give your teeth and gums a thorough cleaning is an excellent way to give the health of your mouth a real boost.

10 – Smile!

Finally, smile. If you have a healthy mouth, you should be proud of it so let the world know it by smiling. If you are embarrassed by any aspect of your smile, such as discoloured or crooked teeth, please do get in touch with us. We can help you with our range of cosmetic dental treatments.

If you would like to see one of our Ipswich dental team, whether for a check up or an issue that is bothering you, you can call us today on 01473 258396.