Visit your dentist at regular intervals

Visit your dentist at the interval they recommend for you. By visiting regularly the dentist can identify problems long before they start to cause you trouble, and this often means simpler treatment to fix it – saving you time, inconvenience and money.

Change your toothbrush regularly

When a toothbrush becomes worn it is much less effective at cleaning plaque from your teeth.  Many manual and electric brush heads have indicators on them to help you know when it is time to change. As a rule of thumb – look at your toothbrush from the back, and if the bristles spread out well past the plastic head, then it’s time to change.

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

Children under 3 years old should use half a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste. Children aged 3-6 years should use half a pea-sized amount of adult fluoride toothpaste. Anyone over 6 years old should use a pea-sized amount of adult toothpaste.

Spit don’t rinse

Toothpaste contains lots of useful ingredients including fluoride, to protect your teeth. To get the maximum benefit from the ingredients they need to be on your teeth for as long as possible. However, immediately after brushing their teeth with toothpaste, most people rinse out with a big mouthful of water and all those protective ingredients go straight down the plughole! So, to get the maximum benefit from your tooth paste, spit out the excess after brushing, don’t rinse, just walk away.

Learn and understand the ‘rule of 5’

Every time you put anything sweet in your mouth (either food or drink) then your teeth rot for 40 minutes. One suck on a polo mint – 40 minutes, one nibble on a biscuit – 40 minutes, one sip of fruit juice – 40 minutes. You get the picture. Your teeth also rot while the food and drink is in your mouth, so if it takes 20 minutes to suck a sweet, then you have 20 minutes, plus 40 minutes from when you finished the sweet, of decay. While the tooth is rotting a tiny hole is starting in your tooth. Now the good news is that after the rotting has finished, if you are totally sugar-free for the next 2 hours, the tiny holes have time to heal themselves. So the next time you have something to eat you are starting from a perfectly sound tooth again. The big problem is if you are a sipper, nibbler or grazer. The tiny holes never have time to completely heal and so get gradually bigger and bigger until you need fillings or get pain.

A few years ago a very elegant piece of research was done that showed that if you have 5 sugary times each day or less you WILL NOT get holes in your teeth. So that’s breakfast, dinner and tea, and 2 other snack times each day to guarantee no fillings.
Remember it’s not the total amount of sugar that’s important, but the gaps between sugary times.

Learn about the refinements to the ‘rule of 5’

For example, some sticky foods stay in your mouth much longer than others, and thus cause more than 40 minutes of decay. Raisins and bananas are prime culprits.
Another refinement is chewing sugar-free gum, or a small piece of cheese straight after a meal. By doing this you reduce the time of decay from 40 minutes to just 20 minutes.

Visit a Dental Hygienist regularly

Plaque is the enemy. Plaque causes decay, plaque causes gum disease. If you remove all the plaque from every surface of every tooth every day, you will NOT get gum disease, and your teeth will remain firm for a lifetime. Dental hygienists are experts in plaque control. At Purely Dental we also have a Dental Personal Trainer to make sure your plaque removal is as efficient as possible, and that your mouth stays as healthy as possible.

Clean between your teeth with interdental brushes and floss

Even when you are perfect at cleaning with a manual or electric toothbrush you leave plaque in between the teeth. That’s because the bristles of the brush simply won’t reach those areas. The plaque left in between the teeth caused decay and gum disease, so you need to use something else to reach these areas. There are lots of different ways of reaching these areas and each individual person will have a most effective and efficient way of doing this. Our Hygienists and Dental Personal Trainer are all very experienced in finding the technique that works best for you individually.

Do your gums bleed when you brush them?

Bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease, and while this can lead to serious consequences, it is usually easily treatable – especially if it is caught early. Once again plaque is the enemy, and we will help you achieve perfect plaque control, this will get rid of the gum disease. At Purely Dental we try to be one step ahead all the time, and by working with children and young adults we can instil excellent and efficient cleaning habits which will prevent you ever getting gum disease and give you healthy teeth for life.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that your gums bleed because you are brushing too hard. You can really scrub healthy gums and they simply will not bleed. Whereas if you have gum disease, even the lightest touch can start the bleeding.

Wear a mouthguard for contact sports

It is painful, distressing and can be very expensive to break front teeth. So for everyone’s sake get a custom-made mouthguard if you play any contact sports and wear it! It is a very sad sight to see a mum or dad kicking themselves that they hadn’t bothered, and then their child falls and breaks a front tooth off.

At Purely Dental, many of our preventive care plans include insurance cover to fix front teeth that do get broken by a blow or fall, and this means that we can repair broken front teeth. But your own natural teeth are the very best teeth so protect them and look after them.