Dr Oh Xue Ling BDS (Adelaide)
Many lament that achieving a healthy and good set of teeth is difficult and expensive. However, most dental problems can be prevented with proper home care and maintenance, aside from the regular 6 monthly visits to the dentist. Here are some tips for achieving that healthy smile.
We brush our teeth every day, yet not everyone knows how to do so properly. These are some points you should take note of:
- Choose a soft toothbrush: to prevent damage to the teeth, and to allow gentle cleansing of gums.
- Use the right technique when brushing: Angle the toothbrush 45 degrees towards the gums, and brush in small circular motions. Always ask your dentist to demonstrate if you are unsure!
- Brush twice a day, 2 minutes each time : to ensure all surfaces are brushed adequately, it is recommended to spend 2 minutes brushing, once in the morning and once at night.
- Replace your toothbrush regularly: If your toothbrush starts fraying (usually after 3-4 months), or after a major illness, it is time to replace it.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
There are many brands and types of toothpaste in the market which can make it hard to choose. Regardless of the taste or packaging, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluoride helps defend against decay, strengthening the teeth.
- Use floss or other interdental products
Gaps in between the teeth are hard to be cleaned with brushing alone. To ensure a good and thorough clean, it is recommended to floss or use other interdental products to clean in between those gaps.
If you are unsure of how to floss or use other interdental products, feel free to ask our dentists for a demonstration!
A mouthwash can be a useful tool to reduce gum disease and dental decay, and they should be used in conjunction with good brushing and flossing. There are many types of mouthwash, ask your dentist for a recommendation if you are too overwhelmed by the choices!
- Be aware of what you eat
Reduce the quantity of sugary food and drinks, and keep snacking to a minimum! Each time sugar is introduced in the mouth, acid is produced, which causes decay.
Drinking plain tap water is best as it helps to wash away the acids and keep your mouth moist.
- Visit your dentist regularly
Aside from all these previous tips, go for regular check-ups with your dentist so that any decay or problem can be caught early on. Tartar (or calculus) can only be removed using the tools in the dental clinic, so regular cleaning with your dentist will help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.