Healthy mouth, healthy body! Image

01 AUGUST 2018

Healthy mouth, healthy body!

From the optimum amount of brushing time to the benefits of flossing, Dental Health Week is here from 6 – 12 August, to educate, motivate and inspire you to keep your teeth healthy, for life.   

You only get one permanent set of pearly whites and taking care of them is a job worth doing properly. Although Dental Health Week only lasts for one week, keeping your teeth in tip-top shape is a lifelong pursuit. That’s 365 days a year that you should be dedicating time to brushing up on your dental hygiene. Read on for some of the habits you ought to adopt for a sparkling smile.

Adopt the two-minute miracle
All you need is a toothbrush, a pea-sized squeeze of paste and a couple of minutes, twice a day, for happy, healthy teeth. Research published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene[1] has found that brushing your teeth for two minutes removed 26% more plaque when compared to brushing for only 45 seconds, which goes to show that putting in the extra time is worth it. There aren’t many things you can achieve in two minutes, but giving your teeth a polish is a valuable one. 

May the Floss Be With You
The thought of cleaning between your teeth may be enough to elicit groans from many a floss-avoider, but there are more than a few good reasons to become well-acquainted with this white, waxy string. Flossing helps to dislodge bacteria-causing food particles as well as plaque. It also helps to prevent gum disease and halitosis (also known as bad breath) which, let’s face it, nobody wants. Hot tip? Floss before you brush and head to bed with an extra fresh mouth. Sweet (minty) dreams!  

Chew sugar-free
Did you know that chewing on some gum for a limited period is actually a good thing for your teeth? Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can prompt your mouth to produce more saliva, which helps neutralise decay-causing acid attacks[2]. It’s a perfect fix if you’re out and about and nowhere near a toothbrush. You’ll also enjoy having a minty fresh mouth, even if you did have tinned-tuna for lunch. 

Don’t forget your gums
Look, it’s not like you’re going to leave them on the bathroom cabinet, but when you’re brushing, gums often get given the short straw, and neglected by poor technique. Here’s how to brush the right way, according to the Australian Dental Association: “Start at the back of your mouth with the toothbrush bristle at the gum line on a 45° angle, brushing gently in a circular motion. Take care to brush carefully along the inner, outer and chewing surfaces, making sure you tip the toothbrush so you can reach the inner front areas of the teeth, which are often missed.” Just make sure you don’t brush too hard from side to side, which can run the risk of causing gums to recede as well as damaging tooth enamel. Remember, you’re brushing the teeth you wish to keep.  

See your dentist
Dentists are heroes of the oral health world, and while they may not wear capes, they do have an ability to foresee the future of your teeth. Partnering with your dentist in your oral health care will help prevent problems down the track. Ideally, you should have a check-up every six months to keep a constant eye on things. Your reward? Teeth that are clean and healthy for years to come. Now that’s something to smile about.

Find your nearest centre and make an appointment. With numerous locations offering a comprehensive range of services, you’ll find the exceptional care and expertise you deserve. 

[1] https://jdh.adha.org/content/jdenthyg/83/3/111.full.pdf
[2] https://www.ada.org.au/Dental-Health-Week/Oral-Health-for-Busy-Lives/Diet-and-Nutrition