Dental health is an important part of total well-being. Nearly all dental diseases - tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease - are preventable. Not only that but good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, and can help you keep your teeth as you get older.
Researchers are also discovering new reasons to brush and floss. A healthy mouth may help you ward off medical disorders. The flip side? An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes
Here's how you and your children can have healthy teeth and keep trips to the dentist to a minimum:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss between your teeth: every day to remove food, debris and plaque lodged between your teeth.
- Cut down on sugar: Have a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, not smoking and limiting your alcohol and sugar intake.
- Brush baby teeth as soon as they come through: avoiding sweetened foods and drinks.
- Get children into a teeth-cleaning routine
- Straighten crooked teeth with braces
- Have regular dental check-ups: Have regular check-ups with your dentist. Don't put off going for a check-up. Detecting problems early can mean they're easier to treat. If problems are not treated, they may lead to damage that is harder, or even impossible, to repair.
- Don't delay with dental treatments: There are a wide range of dental treatments available. Some, such as fillings and root canal treatment, are readily available on the NHS. Others, such as cosmetic dentistry, are only available on the NHS in certain circumstances.