Australians certainly learnt to properly wash their hands in 2020. ‘Soap and water for as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice’ became the standard. We also diligently apply hand sanitizer whenever we enter or leave a public place. So what about 2021? Could it become the year we all learn how to properly look after our teeth?
Like hand washing, we all believe we are doing the right thing until we hear from the experts. According to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW), only 51% of Australian adults brush their teeth twice a day. And, only 50% of us visited a Dentist in the past 12 months. It’s not surprising then that tooth decay is one of the most common health problems yet also one of the most preventative.
We want everyone to start 2021 by dialling up their dental hygiene so you enjoy less complications and better overall health.
Top 5 Teeth Tips
Brushing is key to removing bacteria build up from teeth surfaces. This prevents tooth decay and gum disease.
- Brush at least twice a day (morning and night) for at least two minutes.
- Don’t brush directly after eating, as your teeth will be softer.
- Use a toothpaste containing fluoride to leave a protective layer on your teeth after brushing.
- Use a soft bristled toothbrush recommended by your dentist and don’t brush too vigorously. Electric toothbrushes may provide a more consistent cleaning action.
- Brush the outside, inside and biting surface of your teeth along with your tongue and inside your cheeks, which can house bacteria.
- Don’t rinse your mouth with water after brushing, use a mouthwash instead.
- Keep your toothbrush clean and dry and position it away from the toilet.
- Replace your toothbrush or bristles every 3 months.
2. Flossing & dental picks
Brushing alone simply cannot access all areas of your teeth. Getting in between the gaps properly is essential to prevent decay.
- Use dental floss and dental picks each time you brush to remove food and plaque between your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth and remove any food caught in between teeth after meals.
- Be careful not to damage gums by easing floss and picks into the gaps in your teeth.
3. Drink flouridated water
Most town-supplied drinking water in Australia is fluoridated (93% in NSW). Fluoride protects teeth from decay which is why it has been added to Australia’s water supply since the 1970’s. If you drink water from alternate sources such as rainwater tanks or bottled water you may want to ensure you and your family are getting the appropriate amount of fluoride from other sources.
4. Deal with dental issues early
Toothaches can come and go and gums can occasionally bleed, but some dental issues need urgent attention. While a regular dental check-up will catch signs of early decay, it is wise to get urgent dental care outside of your regular check-ups. It is important to see a dentist to limit greater dental issues if you have toothache warning signs or early symptoms of gum disease.
You should also be proud of your smile to improve self-confidence and mental health. The value of the appearance, alignment and colour of your teeth cannot be underestimated.
5. Have a dental check-up every 6 months
This may seem excessive for some. But your teeth perform an intense and crucial function to process all the food you eat every day, while serving to give you a brilliant and attractive smile. Apart from getting any underlying issues examined, only a dentist can remove the build up tartar (hardened plaque) from your teeth. Having a dentist know your dental history and keep you on a path to good oral hygiene will go a long way to avoid more costly and dramatic dental procedures down the road.
Dr Finkelstein Dentist in Sydney CBD provides a thorough dental exam and cleaning service. We provide a holistic service and look for any oral health issues that may be impacting your overall health. We provide a safe and relaxed environment to remove any anxiety that often comes with dental visits. We strive to provide our patients with a smile they can be proud of.