We all know the importance of looking after our teeth. It is drummed into us from an early age by our parents, our schools and by health and dental practitioners, and, our childhood visits to the dentist were often commemorated with stickers and smiles after a quick examination and polish. And yet, tooth decay is a massive problem in the UK for both adults and children, with almost 1 in 3 adults in the UK experiencing some kind of tooth decay, with 23.7% of 5 year old children surveyed had experience of dentinal decay, with the figure going up to 30.6% in the North West, according to Government figures from 2022.
It is plain to see that we need, once again, to look at the basics.
Brushing Your Teeth
It seems odd to have to say this, but the best help you can give your teeth is by brushing twice daily – once in the morning, once in the evening. The evening brushing before bed is especially important, this is the one that can be missed out if you are feeling tired, but this really shouldn’t be the case. You need to brush as part of a routine and to brush properly, but this should not be an aggressive action as you are likely to make your gums bleed. Using a toothpaste with Fluoride is important, but there are now toothpastes available for those with an aversion to mint flavours (this can sometimes be a problem with children with Autism, with stores like Holland and Barrett offering fruity and natural alternatives.)
Toothpaste can be well supported by the use of dental floss to help get small pieces of food out of the teeth, and mouthwash – a medicated mouthwash is particularly useful if you have had any dental surgery, to help stave off infections.
See a Dentist
This is a habit you need to get into from an early age. You need to first find a dentist in your town, a quick search of a term like dentist Edinburgh should be able to find you options, and you can then narrow it down if you are looking for something specific like cosmetic dentistry. There is a belief that you need to see a dentist at least twice a year, but guidance from the NHS suggests you should be guided by your dentist, so make sure you find a friendly and reputable dentist who you rely on, like this dentist Warrington – some will need to see the dentist more, others less. Of course, if you are struggling with pain or experiencing bleeding, you should seek dental advice.
Watch those foods
As any good dentist would tell you, prevention is better than cure, so looking after your teeth by looking after your diet is very important. We know that sugary food should be avoided as this clearly aids tooth decay, but drinks like coffee and red wine can stain the teeth, whilst hard sweets and candy can play havoc if you already have crowns and fillings. Ice is also not great for our teeth, so maybe keep the ice in your drinks to a minimum. You can find more specific lists on the NHS website by clicking here.