Oral health is essential for your general health, as a healthy mouth will improve well being and quality of life. Healthy teeth are for Life.
Taking care of your teeth will ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and that food can be chewed thoroughly, without pain or discomfort, and that the teeth are not sensitive to different stimuli. Teeth are important for social acceptability, and a nice smile.
- Brush twice a day, at bedtime and one other time for 2-3 mins.
- Use a soft/medium toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste (at least 1,000ppm).
- Brushing your tongue helps reduce bad breath.
- Spit, don't rinse after brushing to keep the fluoride in your mouth.
- Floss daily. Ask your dental team for advice on technique.
- Change your toothbrush when bristles are worn (or every 3 months).
Choose healthy snacks between meals such as whole fruits and avoid sweets, chocolate, biscuits and sugary drinks. Did you know that dried fruits are high in sugar and can stick in the teeth? Limit fruit juice or fruit smoothies to one small glass (150ml) with a meal, and always choose unsweetened. When reading your food labels for sugar content, less than 5g per 100g is considered to be a low sugar content.
Other factors to consider
Smoking increases your risk of oral and general health problems including: mouth cancer, cardiovascular disease, bad breath, gum disease & stains on teeth. If you smoke, please stop. There are many websites that can help you, for example - www.quit.ie.
Your risk of mouth cancer is even greater if you smoke and drink alcohol. The recommended low-risk limit for alcohol intake is 17 units/ week for men (8.5 pints of beer). Have at least 2-3 alcohol-free days per week.
When playing sports its always advisable to wear a mouth guard to reduce the risk of dental injuries. Unflavoured milk and water are the best drinks for your teeth, milk will also aid muscle recovery after exercise. Try to avoid high sugar sports drinks.