Oral health

Looking after your teeth

At home

When looking after your teeth at home, it is good to get into a routine to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Good oral hygiene is important because of the role your teeth play in your everyday life. Your teeth allow you to chew, talk and give our faces their shape.

At home, the first practise to follow is to brush your teeth twice a day. This is recommended to be once just before bed and once at any other time in the day (not 30 minutes after food). Tooth brushing should be performed for at least two minutes, which will give you time to clean all surfaces of your teeth.

The tooth brush you use at home depends on your personal preference, but it is recommended you change your toothbrush every three months.

When brushing your teeth at home, using a fluoride toothpaste will protect the enamel (surface) of the tooth, making it less likely to get cavities. Toothpastes containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride are the most effective for adults. Children under three should use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride and children between three and six should brush twice daily with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride.

Flossing daily will allow you to reach the areas of the tooth that you can’t clean effectively with your toothbrush. You may also want to use a fluoride mouth rinse at a different time to brushing your teeth, to keep fluoride present on the teeth.

Professional

It is recommended that you visit your dentist once every six months, however this may change depending on whether you need additional dental treatment. Your dentist will recommend when to book your next appointment and whether it would benefit you to book an appointment to see the hygienist.

If you have any problems with your teeth between check-ups, don’t be afraid to contact your dental surgery to book an earlier appointment. In an emergency, call your practice phone number and you will be advised on the appropriate action to take.

Protection during sport

If you play a sport which could cause injury to your teeth, it is important to invest in a gum shield to protect them. If you are concerned about the protection of your teeth, contact your dentist for advice.