Thousands of adults and children are affected by tooth decay in the UK, although often it is easily preventable. If you’re troubled by dental pain or just want to keep decay at bay this summer, follow these tips to put an end to suffering and give your oral health a boost.
Brush the correct way
Brushing your teeth is essential for good oral health, but simply swirling a brush around your mouth is not enough. It’s important to thoroughly clean each tooth properly to get optimal results. Many dentists recommend choosing a soft to medium bristled toothbrush with a small head, as this will allow you to reach into far corners. Soft bristles also prevent enamel damage as a result of forceful brushing. When you brush, move the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions and angle the head so that all tooth surfaces and the gum line are covered.
Brush for the right amount of time
Sometimes when we brush our teeth, it can be quite a rushed job – particularly in the morning when we’re running late for work! If you do struggle to brush for the two recommended minutes each time, there are ways to get around it. Some toothbrushes come with built-in timers, or you could set a timer on your watch or mobile phone. Another option is to brush along to your favourite song, as most songs last for around 3 minutes.
Often, flossing is overlooked and regarded as brushing’s poorer relative, but it is just as essential. Flossing helps to remove bacteria and dislodge food debris from the cracks between the teeth, reducing risk of plaque formation. When you floss, be gentle when passing the floss between your teeth as pulling the thread can cause gum damage.
Visit your dentist
The Sparkle Dental Boutique team recommend seeing a dentist for a routine check-up every six months. Check-ups are simple and quick, and ensure that your oral health is kept on track. Even if your teeth are healthy and problem-free, it is still important to attend regular check-ups.
Cut down on sugar
Sugar contributes majorly to the high rates among UK citizens. Sugar causes tooth enamel to become softer and encourages bacteria to release acids that weaken it. Enamel protects our teeth but once it becomes damaged, it can never be repaired. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks such as cakes, sweets and energy drinks and get your sweet fix by consuming natural sugars such as honey and fruit.
Eating on the go can cause harm to our teeth as bacteria release acids when we eat that temporarily soften the enamel, making our teeth more vulnerable. Snacking throughout the day leaves our tooth enamel under permanent attack, so try to eat three large meals a day so you’re not tempted to snack in between. If you do go hungry between meals, choose healthy alternatives to sugary treats. For example, you could go for raw vegetables with a dip or a wholegrain cracker with a little wedge of cheese.