Keep your smile for life
Good oral hygiene is an important part of keeping your teeth for life.
It should not be a normal expectation that at some stage of your life, teeth will need to be removed because of tooth decay or gum disease. Australians should expect to keep their teeth for their lifetime and practising these four simple routines can help people to reach this goal. After all, you do not expect to lose an arm or leg, so why expect to lose any of your teeth?
Tempting as it is to think that everyone is practising good teeth and mouth hygiene, the reality is that the oral health of many Australians is not where it should be. According to the Australian Dental Association:
- 75% adults rarely or never floss or clean between their teeth
- 1 in 5 adults brush only once per day.
- 39% of parents report their children drink 2 – 5 soft drinks per week.
- 2 in 3 adults usually visit the dentist for a problem rather than a regular check-up
- 47% of adults (18+ years) consume too much sugar
There are four easy steps to ensure good oral hygiene, and your best chance at keeping your teeth for life.
1. Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
2. Clean between your teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes.
3. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake.
4. Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventive care.
Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with small head.
- Choose a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Don’t press too hard – this can damage the teeth and gums.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
Clean between your teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes
- Clean between your teeth using floss or interdental brushes.
- Do this at least once per day.
- Start flossing children’s teeth once they have two teeth touching side-by-side.
- Your dentist can advise you:
- Whether floss or interdental brushes are best for your teeth.
- The best technique for these products.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet and limit added sugar intake
- Limit your added sugar intake as its single-biggest cause of tooth decay.
- Choose tap water as your drink of choice. Avoid sugar-based and/or acidic drinks (low pH).
- View the Nutrition Information Panel on food and drink labels to check sugar content.
- Choose tooth-friendly snacks such as cheese, nuts and vegetables.
- Avoid snacking and grazing.
Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and preventative care
- Visit at least once per year.
- If you need to attend more regularly, your dentist will let you know.
- At your regular check up, your dentist will check for tooth decay, gum disease and perform an oral cancer screening.
- If you need to find a dentist, the ADA’s Find a Dentist website can help you to find one in your local area: www.ada.org.au/findadentist