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Oral Hygiene

At GHB Dental Care, we recommend the following nine tips for maintaining a high level of oral health:

Brush Thoroughly. Brushing twice daily is imperative. Brushing last thing before sleep is especially important because saliva (which has many protective features) dries up as we sleep.

Toothbrushes should come with a small head and soft bristles. We recommend using a timer to ensure brushing for adequate duration, which is a minimum of two minutes.

It is currently recommended to not rinse off the fluoride toothpaste following brushing. Therefore the fluoride can function for longer to strengthen your teeth.

1) Perform interdental cleaning at least once a day. The areas between the teeth are the most prone for the development of dental decay and gum problems. Dental floss and interdental brushes are the mainstay of healthy gums. Ask your dentist for a demonstration for what they feel is best for you.

2) Rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash. The benefits of a mouthwash are that they can reach areas not touched by brushing alone. The principal is to leave the teeth coated with the mouthwash following use and to avoid eating, drinking and rinsing for ten minutes following use.

3) Limit your sugary food and drink frequency. Think about what you are eating and drinking.

As clinicians, we are seeing a rising proportion of cavities that are attributed to regular consumption of fruit juices and squash. Many conscientious parents are avoiding their children having fizzy drinks and substituting them with squash or fruit juices. These are also sugar-rich and the frequency should be kept to a minimum where possible. Ideally, have such drinks specifically at meal times only.

Remember that No Added Sugar fruit juices still contain sugar!

4) Use a fluoride toothpaste. A fluoride toothpaste will help strengthen your enamel, making it tougher for bacterial acids to break down.

5) Electric Toothbrushes. These are recommended by most dentists for their superior performance when compared to manual brushing.

The clinicians at GHB recommend the Philips Sonicare range of toothbrushes and use them personally. The oral-B range is also highly regarded.

Electric toothbrushes are great for people who brush aggressively, as they brush for you. They are also easier if you have limited manual dexterity. Many also have a timer so you know you are brushing for the correct amount of time.

6) Maintain a healthy diet. A healthy diet gives your teeth and oral tissues (bone and gum tissues) the nutrients they need.

7) Avoid Dry Mouth. Saliva has a number of protective functions in the mouth. Chronic dry mouth or xerostomia could be a side effect to certain medications or a symptom of a systemic disease.

When suffering from dry mouth, ensure that you have regular sips of plain water. Regular sips of juices and flavoured waters have a far elevated rate of tooth decay developing.

8) Clean Your Tongue. A major cause of bad breath can actually come from bacteria building up on your tongue. Use of a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue bacteria helps maintain a healthy mouth and freshen your breath.

9) Change your toothbrush regularly. You should change your toothbrush every two to three months for good dental hygiene. This includes both manual toothbrushes and your head for an electric toothbrush.

If your toothbrush is wearing out prematurely, you may be brushing too hard. Seek advice from your dentist to prevent potential long-term damage to the teeth and gums.