QUITTING smoking, avoiding alcohol and sugar and brushing your teeth effectively can all contribute to keeping your pearly whites shining.
While most of us already know these things, Dental Health Week will provide a timely reminder of the best ways to keep our teeth healthy.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District Clinic Director for oral health services, Dr Neville Heer, said this year’s theme of “Don’t accept dental decay as inevitable” aims to give people practical tips to keep their mouths in good health.
“Dental decay and gum disease are caused by bacterial acid production and activities in the mouth,” he said.
“Control of this biofilm or plaque is essential to prevent oral disease.”
Dr Heer said medication, physical activity, smoking and drinking could cause a dry mouth by affecting saliva flow, increasing the chances of developing dental disease, while diet also played a key role.
“A high-sugar diet encourages bacterial acid production in the mouth that causes tooth decay or demineralisation of the tooth surface,” he said.
“It is important to also be aware of hidden natural sugars.”
To brush effectively, people are encouraged to use a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste, gently brush gums as well as teeth, and to spit out all the toothpaste, but not rinse, to maximise the fluoride benefits.
Patients can also talk to their dentist about flossing and other ways to clean between the teeth.
Other tips for a healthy mouth include drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol, checking teeth and gums daily for signs of decay, checkiing children’s teeth when helping them brush, and having regular dental check-ups.
Dental Health Week runs from August 6 to 12.
Picture: Thegreenj, Wikimedia Commons