No matter how busy your schedule might, it is critical that you take the time needed to care for your teeth.
And with Dental Health Week just around the corner (6 to 12 August), there is no better time for you to refocus on getting your dental health into tiptop shape!
Dental Health Week (this year’s theme is #watchyourmouth) is the Australian Dental Association’s (ADA) annual oral health promotion. It is designed to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health by promoting four key messages.
At Cardiff Dental we stand with the ADA in this effort, and in this post we take some time to share their message.
What are the four areas of focus?
The ADA’s four messages are easy to understand:
- Brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Clean in-between teeth once a day (with floss or interdental brushes)
- Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit sugar intake
- Regularly visit the dentist for check-ups and preventive treatment.
Let’s take a look at what these messages mean for you.
Brush with fluoride toothpaste
We’ve all been taught to brush our teeth, but not all of us do it perfectly. Cardiff Dental suggests the following steps:
- Brush at least twice a day.
- Don’t overdo it on the toothpaste. You only need a pea-sized drop. Any more makes your mouth too frothy and increases the likelihood of swallowing fluoride, which is not good for you.
- Brush for at least two minutes. The most common toothbrushing mistake is brushing for too short a period. Use your smartphone or a stopwatch for an exact time – hum a favourite song for a less exact measure.
- Start with your brush on your gum line at a 45-degree angle.
- Brush in a circular motion, but NOT across the front of the teeth.
- Don’t brush too hard! Brushing too hard can harm enamel and lead to receding gums
- Make sure to brush every surface of your teeth – so cover the front, sides, back, corners, and chewing surfaces. By dividing your your brushing time into 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth, you give yourself a better chance of reaching everywhere you should.
- Brush your tongue. Or, if that feels awkward, invest in a tongue scraper.
- Spit out the toothpaste, rinse off your brush, use a little mouthwash, and head out to the world, refreshed.
If your dexterity is limited, an electric toothbrush is a great option as it does a lot of the work for you. Replace your brush, whether manual or powered, when its bristles start to spread apart, or every three months, whichever comes first.
Clean in-between teeth
Here’s something few Australians know – almost half the surface area of your teeth lies between them. If you’re relying only on brushing you’re missing a large percentage of your teeth. So floss well to address these ‘hidden’ areas.
The benefits are multiple:
- You remove plaque from between your teeth
- You help in preventing gum disease and tooth decay
- You fight halitosis (otherwise known as “bad breath”).
That’s a lot of benefit for no so very much work!
Here are the ADA ‘rules’ for flossing:
- Floss at least once a day.
- Ask your dentist to demonstrate the correct technique.
- Ask your dentist if interdental aids can help.
- Children should floss as soon as they have two teeth that touch
What to do:
- Wind approximately 45 cm of floss around your middle fingers and hold it tightly between thumbs and index fingers.
- Gently guide the floss between the teeth, using a side-to-side motion to ensure that both teeth are cleaned.
- To clean where the tooth meets the gums, curl the floss and insert it gently under the gum.
If you have trouble flossing, talk to your Cardiff Dental dentist about appliances (e.g. threaders or oral irrigators) that can help.
Eat a healthy balanced diet and limit sugar intake
The ADA recommendations are common-sense:
- Limit sugar intake as it is the single largest cause of tooth decay.
- Fluoridated tap water is best.
- Read the ingredients panel on food products as many have hidden sugars.
- Choose teeth friendly foods such as cheese, nuts and vegetables.
- Avoid snacking and grazing
To which we at Cardiff Dental would add, eat a diet rich in healthy foods chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. This will not only strengthen your teeth and gums, but will also help your overall health, which helps the immune system defend your mouth!
Visit Cardiff Dental Regularly
Dental check-ups and professional dental cleaning are two of the most important preventive measures for your overall oral health. They are not just designed for adults of all ages but also for children and teens. Give us a call and make an appointment!
Cardiff Dental are:
- A local family owned and family run dental practice.
- You have the option of seeing the same dentist every time.
- Available to treat painful conditions on the same day
- One of the very few dental practices that are accredited by QIP (Quality Innovative Performance) for meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.
Call (02) 4954 6888 or visit us at 34B Kelton St. in Cardiff.