Smile for life: tips for a healthy mouth
Oral health is essential for your general wellbeing: not only does a healthy mouth enable good nutrition but it can also indicate if there’s something wrong elsewhere.
At Portman, we will work with you to ensure your oral health routine keeps you smiling for life. Read our expert advice to make sure your oral health is on track.
Ten top tips for a healthy mouth
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, using a fluoride toothpaste. Use a high quality toothbrush – an electric one is preferable.
- Change your toothbrush regularly. Invest in a new manual toothbrush or new electric brush head every two to three months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed and worn.
- Floss and rinse. Using dental floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth every time you brush is essential for gum health. Using a fluoride mouthwash with help to provide extra protection, fights bacteria and freshens your breath.
- Clean your teeth before breakfast. Consuming foods and drinks with high acidic levels will soften the enamel on your teeth. Brushing straight after eating, when the enamel is at its softest, can damage it. Over time, weakened enamel can cause sensitivity, staining and cavities. It is recommended to wait 30 minutes after eating before cleaning teeth, to allow the enamel to harden again.
- Cut down on sugar. Reduce the amount and the frequency of sugary foods and drinks in your diet. We all know we should curb the amount of sugary foods we consume, but we also need to limit the frequency of consumption.
After eating these foods, the enamel softens, and is more susceptible to damage. The mouth’s natural defense, saliva, will help to harden the enamel again, but needs time to build up after eating. Regular snacking on sugary foods or drinking drinks high in sugar may limit this defense, leaving the enamel softened and teeth at risk of acid erosion.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Book an appointment for a checkup every six to 12 months to catch any issues early and keep on top of your dental health.
Did you know your dentist also checks your soft tissue (tongue, cheeks and lips) at every visit for signs of oral cancer. Cases of oral cancer continue to rise, but catching any concerns early significantly increases your chance to cure it.
- Visit your hygienist. Regular trips to the hygienist will remove plaque and stains, brighten your smile, treat gum disease and prevent bad breath.
- Clean your tongue. Use a soft toothbrush or a special tongue-cleaning tool to regularly clean the surface of your tongue and remove bacteria that can cause bad breath.
- Replace missing teeth. Replacing any missing teeth will prevent decay and movement in the surrounding teeth, and bone loss elsewhere in your jaw. Implants and bridges can restore function and look very natural. Ask how we can help at your local Portman practice.
- Restore existing teeth. At Portman we have many treatments that can help restore the appearance of your mouth, from crowns to bonding. Just ask your Portman dentist for more information.