Your Oral Health
While your dentist at Southbank will keep an eye on your oral health, helping you to prevent any issues, it’s your oral care at home that does most of the hard work. Regular brushing can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, as well as ensuring your mouth stays fresh. It’s important to make sure you brush your teeth correctly for adequate plaque and food removal.
You should brush twice a day for at least two minutes. It helps if you divide your mouth into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each area. Some electric toothbrushes come with a built-in timer to help keep you brushing long enough to do a thorough job.
When brushing, make sure you clean the inside surface of each tooth, the chewing surface and behind the teeth. Pay particular attention to the gum line. If you have any restorative work, take care to clean around them carefully.
When done, don’t rinse your mouth straight away. Give the fluoride in the toothpaste chance to work. We recommend that you rinse with the toothpaste and saliva in your mouth and spit. Saliva is crucial to your dental health as it constantly repairs the molecular structure of your teeth.
While the temptation is to clean your teeth after you have breakfast so your mouth is fresh for the day, it’s actually best to brush your teeth first thing. Bacteria forms in the mouth overnight so it’s important to clean this away before eating. Sugars and other foods cause the bacteria to grow, increasing the likelihood of plaque forming.
Dental health tips
Remember to clean your tongue. You can buy tongue scrapers that do the job, but you can use your toothbrush to clean away debris (just rinse off afterwards). This removes bacteria that forms in that debris and also reduces halitosis.
Sugar-free gum has a positive impact on your teeth. Sugar-free gum contains xylitol, a sweetener that actually reduces the chance of decay and gum disease as it causes bacteria to die. Chewing gum also increases salivation. Saliva re-mineralises your teeth, strengthening the enamel and keeping the teeth strong.