Many adults think that as they have survived the peak lolly eating days of their childhood that they are somehow immune to further damage to their dental healthy.

Unfortunately, decay doesn’t see it that way. Here’s an overview of how you can take steps to improve your dental hygiene – today!

Some sobering statistics from the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare report Australia’s Health 2014 showed that more than 90 per cent of adults had some history of decay in their permanent teeth. Also that about 12 per cent of adults had fewer than 21 natural teeth remaining, and more than 20 per cent had severe gum disease. Ouch!

It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s In Your Hands

We all have a say in the health of our teeth. Just by brushing twice daily you dramatically reduce the rate of tooth decay.

How To Brush

  • Use a small blob of toothpaste and a soft toothbrush
  • Use short circular motions to gently brush the inside surface of your teeth back and forth. Next got to the outside and then the flat surface that you chew on
  • Don’t forget to brush behind your front teeth
  • Never brush too roughly so you don’t damage your gums
  • Throw out that mangy toothbrush every 2-3 months

How to Floss

Bacteria love to hide in the small spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach. The best way to stop it from having a party there is to use dental floss.

If you let the bacteria thrive you could be on your way to gum disease that ultimately can lead to tooth loss.

  • Get a length of dental floss that is about 30cm long and wrap each end around each middle finger
  • Gently slide the floss between your teeth by using a gentle backward and forward, sawing motion.
  • Move the floss up toward the gums and wrap the floss in a C shape around your tooth. Slide it up and down against the tooth.
  • Repeat against the tooth on the other side of the floss
  • Take care to be gentle and don’t floss too hard against your gums

Nutrition

What we consume has a direct role to play in our dental health. To help reduce your dental bills reconsider what you consume on a daily basis. Any solid food that contains sugar stays in contact with the teeth for more time than a sweet drink like soft drink. Neither of these is great for your teeth but if you know you have been eating a really sweet dessert consider having a glass of water afterwards and always brush your teeth that night.

Try to eat healthy snacks between meals that don’t contain too much sugar and avoid sipping on sugary drinks throughout the day as you increase the frequency of contact with sugar over a longer period of time.

Dairy food, especially cheese can actually help tooth decay. Studies have shown that dairy foods can reduce acid in your mouth by regulating your body’s pH levels. The protein helps to repair muscle tissues and Vitamin A helps to maintain good oral health while potassium lowers the risk of bone loss. What’s more the lactic acid in dairy products can kill the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

For a quick checklist of what’s good and bad for your dental health see our blog Your Menu For Better Dental Health.

Whatever your lifestyle, you can help to reduce your dental bills and increase the chance of keeping your natural teeth for life by taking a few easy steps toward better dental health.