1. Brush teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
You should try to brush every surface of every tooth. Brushing should take about 2 minutes and should be done using a soft toothbrush. The bristles should not be bent over in any way- if they are it is time for a new brush! Spit out any excess toothpaste after brushing but do not rinse.
2. Floss at least once a day
You cannot clean in between your teeth with a brush alone. Flossing is a learnt skill. You may struggle at first but with practice you will get better. If you need help ask me I will show you how!
3. Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper or spoon.
This will help keep the level of bacteria in your mouth down and will help with bad breath. Once a day is adequate.
4. Reduce the amount and frequency of sugar containing food and drinks.
Sugar causes decay. The more frequently you have sugar containing food or drinks the more likely you are to get decay. Try to keep the between meal sugar “ hits” to 2 or less a day. Remember fruit contains sugar. Fruit is good for you- try to eat fruit with your meals rather than in between meals.
Fruit juices and soft drinks typically contain between 10 and 20 teaspoons of sugar per bottle. Sticky sweets are bad because in addition to containing a lot of sugar they stick to teeth and stay on the teeth for a long time.
5. Reduce the amount and frequency of acid containing food and drink.
Diet drinks contain no sugar but are usually acidic and may still lead to decay. Citrus fruit and apples are acidic- eaten too frequently they may cause decay or erode the enamel away.
6. Chew sugar – free gum.
Chewing stimulates saliva. Saliva is your natural protection from decay.
7. Drink plenty of water.
When you are dehydrated your body turns off your salivary glands in order to preserve water.
8. Stop or reduce smoking.
Smoking damages the salivary glands and reduces the amount of saliva produced.
9. Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake.
Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics (they make you loose fluid) and your body will turn your salivary glands off to save fluid.
10. Have the deep pits and fissures on your back teeth sealed.
Acid producing bacteria live in the deep pits and fissures – painless sealants can be placed on your teeth to treat this problem.
11. Visit a dentist on a regular basis.
You require an individualized plan based on your particular needs and level of decay. In addition to the regime above it may be necessary to use some dental products to assist you. These include bicarbonate mouth rinses, high fluoride tooth paste, fluoride treatments, recaldent tooth moose and clorhexidine gel. Remember if decay does form then it should be treated as early as possible!