1. Brushing those gnashers

When brushing, spit don’t rinse as the residues of toothpaste are what prevents the decay.  Electric toothbrushes are more effective than a manual. If you do use a manual use a soft bristled one doing small circles, pointing the bristles into the gum at a 45 degree angle, spend 3 minutes twice daily.  Avoid brushing for 30 minutes to an hour after eating anything acidic, like fruit juice, as the enamel is weaker and more likely to be thinned or damaged if you do brush.

(Simone Kelly, Smile Right Dental Practice)

2. Swilling with mouthwash

A common mistake is to use mouthwash after brushing.  Mouthwash has a lower level of fluoride than toothpaste so if you do use it straight after brushing, you’re essentially washing away the fluoride you need from the toothpaste.  Not so good.  You can still use a mouthwash but try to do this when you get home from work or after lunch instead and opt for an alcohol free one.

(Simone Kelly, Smile Right Dental Practice)

3. Don't forget flossing

When done properly, flossing really does help to control plaque, keep gums healthy and maintain good mouth hygiene by removing any food that gets caught in between teeth. Try to floss once a day in the evening, interdental brushes like Tepe are a good option and some people find them easier to use than floss. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on the best option for you.

(Simone Kelly, Smile Right Dental Practice)

4. REDUCE THE FREQUENCY OF ACID ATTACKS

It is a myth that the amount of sugar in your diet relates to the likelihood you will develop cavities. It is in fact the number of times that eat sugar throughout the day. Reducing these sugar attacks will help to minimise your risk of developing cavities. Try sticking to 5-7 sugar attacks in the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and two other times).

(Dr Mihir Shah, Battersea Park Dental)

5. SWITCH UP YOUR SNACKS

If you do need to snack, try nuts, lightly salted popcorn or fresh fruit.  Try to avoid juices, fizzy drinks, chewy or sticky sugary snacks altogether. If you’re looking for a change from water, there are loads of sugar-free alternatives around so give them a go.

(Simone Kelly, Smile Right Dental Practice)

6. XYLITOL ON THE GO

Eating and drinking almost always increases the acid levels in your mouth. If the pH level drops below the critical level (pH5.5) your teeth can start to dissolve (or demineralise). Your body’s natural response is to decrease acid levels back to the ‘safe zone’. This usually takes 20-30 mins but having xylitol mints or gum helps to speed up this process and means your teeth are more quickly back in the ‘safe zone’. Plus, the additional saliva which will be produced contains calcium and phosphates which helps remineralise your teeth thus strengthening your enamel. Bonus.

(Dr Mihir Shah, Battersea Park Dental)

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