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Preventing Dental Problems

Oral Hygiene

Most dental problems are caused by plaque. Plaque is bacteria which live on your teeth and gums. The best way to keep your mouth in tip-top condition is to clean it well. Brushing twice daily is MANDATORY, and cleaning between your teeth is strongly recommended in order to prevent decay and gum disease.

Brush every morning and evening for 2 minutes. Concentrate, stand in front of a mirror and make sure you clean every nook and cranny. An electric toothbrush will make this much easier. Floss, Interdental Brushes, and Water Flossers are all great for cleaning between your teeth and it is recommended that you do this a minimum of once a day. 

Healthy Diet

Everybody knows sugar causes decay. Unfortunately these days food is packed with the stuff. The guidance suggests that everyone over 11 should aim to eat less than 30g free sugar a day - if you look on the back of food packets you will see this labelled as "carbohydrates - of which sugar." A better way to control tooth decay is to control the frequency of eaten/drunk sugars. Aim to have less than 5 "sugary attacks" per day. Any item of food or drink that has sugar in it classes as a sugary attack. Therefore try to have fewer, but larger meals during the day and avoid grazing on snacks and sugary drinks.


Fluoride is a chemical found naturally in water around the world. Fluoride has been proven to reduce the instances of tooth decay - this is why it is added to toothpastes! Make sure when you are brushing you use a toothpaste with at least 1400ppm (found on the back of the packet) of fluoride. Adult toothpaste is safe to use in smaller quantities on children but if you suspect your child is swallowing toothpaste, you can always use a child's toothpaste appropriate for their age.

Dental Treatment

If you have had any dental treatment in the past it WILL need maintenance. Think of your dental check up like the MOT for your car. Older teeth, fillings and crowns need maintenance to help identify problems. Often, the earlier a problem is found the better the outcome.

Remember, you use your teeth every time you eat so over the years any treatment you have received gets a lot of wear and tear.

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