Oral care tips How to look after your teeth
It’s important to look after your teeth and gums by brushing regularly, eating healthily and getting regular checkups. Taking care of your teeth should help you avoid problems like gum disease and bad breath.
Regular checkups help to make sure that any problems you do have are caught and treated early, including more serious diseases such as mouth cancer. If you take care of your teeth, you will probably need to see a dentist less often.
Brushing your teeth
Follow these simple tips to look after your teeth:
- Brush your teeth for at least three minutes twice daily
- Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on a toothbrush with soft or medium bristles
- Use a brush head small enough to reach your back teeth
- Floss once a day – your toothbrush won't reach all the gaps between your teeth
- Replace your toothbrush when the bristles go out of shape – usually around every three months
Sensitive teeth care
If you have sensitive teeth, use a softer-bristled toothbrush. There are also smaller-headed toothbrushes for people with crooked or irregular teeth.
Use the right toothpaste: if you have sensitive teeth, smoke, or have stained teeth, your dentist will be able to recommend specialist toothpastes most suited to your needs.
To avoid your teeth becoming stained you should stop smoking and reduce the amount of wine, tea and coffee you drink.
An electric toothbrush, with an oscillating or rotating head, may be more effective at getting rid of plaque. Electric toothbrushes may be easier to use for older people or those with limited movement.
You can also buy specialised toothbrushes with large handles and angled heads that are easier to use by those with a physical disability.
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