Small changes for long term benefits

We are all able to make a few small changes to our oral health that will benefit our overall health and wellbeing. If we have good oral health, it can help us in our personal and professional relationships by giving us more confidence. A healthy smile can even transform our visual appearance and can help provide us with a positive state of mind.

We all know the basics of oral health, such as brushing twice a day for 2-3 minutes, flossing daily and visiting your dentist every 6 months. However, below we look at a few small extra steps to get on the road to good oral health.

  • Try chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking, especially sugary foods, to help protect your teeth and gums in between meals.
  • Avoid snacking during the day on sugary foods as teeth are under attack from bacteria after sugar, so if you only have sugary food or drink at mealtimes, it reduces the length of time your teeth are under attack. If you do have a sweet tooth, you could try sugar-free sweets and drinks, which contain xylitol as this can actively contribute to your oral health.
  • A varied diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetables can help to prevent gum disease.
  • Finishing a meal with a cube of cheese is a great, and tasty, way to reduce the effect of acids from the foods damaging your teeth.
  • An apple is like nature’s toothbrush. Try eating an apple after eating your lunch if you can’t get to your toothbrush. The acidity in the apple acts as a mild astringent, which cleans the teeth.
  • Clean your tongue as this can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Ideally use a tongue scraper, but you can also use your toothbrush.
  • Change your toothbrush if the bristles are starting to fray or around every 3 months due to bacteria build-up.