Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Good oral health practices

Published:Wednesday | July 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM

* Clean in-between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss. This will help to clean a higher portion of the tooth and prevent the build-up of plaque.

* A diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables, can help to prevent gum disease.

* Eating and drinking naturally weakens the enamel on your teeth, and brushing straight afterwards can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. It is best not to brush your teeth until at least one hour after eating.

* Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva to help prevent your mouth from drying out.

* To test if you have bad breath, simply lick the inside of your wrist, let it dry and sniff. If the smell is bad, you can be fairly sure you have bad breath.

* A glass of water is the best drink after eating sugary foods.

* Brush your teeth just before you go to bed and before you have anything to eat or drink at breakfast.

* Use a mouthwash containing anti-bacterial to help control gum disease.

* Quitting smoking will help you reduce the chances of developing a whole host of oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, yellow teeth and mouth cancer.

* Don't forget to brush your tongue, or use a tongue scraper.

* Introduce your child to the sights and sounds of the dental practice at an early age to allay any dental phobia that might develop. Take them with you when you go for a check-up.

* If you have sensitivity when brushing your teeth with cold water from the tap, use warm water instead. Do not avoid brushing your teeth regularly as this could make the problem worse.

* Cold sores are infectious and the infecting virus can be passed to other people by close contact (such as kissing). A cold sore is most infectious when it is blistering. It is important to try and avoid touching cold sores as you can pass the virus on to other people's hands and even, very rarely, to your own eyes. Avoid squeezing, pinching or pricking the cold sore as this can spread the infection.

* If you wear dentures, the general rule is: brush, soak, brush. Always clean your dentures over a bowl of water or a folded towel in case you drop them. Brush your dentures before soaking, to help remove any food debris. Using an effervescent (fizzy) denture cleaner will help remove stubborn stains and leave your denture feeling fresher

* It is better for your teeth and general health if you eat three meals a day plus no more than two snacks, instead of having lots of snack attacks

* Still water and milk are good choices. It is better for your teeth if you drink fruit juices just at meal times. If you are drinking them between meals, try diluting them with water and rinsing your mouth with water after drinking. Drinking through a straw can help the drink go to the back of your mouth without touching your teeth