Hi my names Melanie Mitchell, I am a Oral Health Therapist working at Waiheke Dental Centre in Ostend. I am passionate about oral health education for all and believe that consistent preventative oral care can help you keep your teeth for life and facilitate good overall health.
Much preventative oral health care can be done at home at little cost…add to that routine dental hygiene and check-ups and you have a strategy that will save you money & help you prevent decay, gum disease and help facilitate good over-all health. In this monthly column I will be addressing all sorts of different oral health topics.
This week we will start with some basics:
Here are some strategies to keep a healthy mouth for a life time.
1. Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, morning and before bed using either an electric toothbrush or a soft manual brush. research suggests that an electric toothbrush removes more plaque then a manual when used correctly.
2. Daily flossing before brushing – this helps remove bacterial plaque from between the teeth. if you hate flossing with tape, try inter-dental brushes, water flosses or floss on handles.
3. If using a mouth rinse, use an alcohol free one, as alcohol based rinses dry out your mouth. salt water rinses help keep your gums clean & healthy.
4. Stay away from sugary foods and drinks. when we eat or drink these sugars it mixes with bacteria in plaque and forms an acid. The acid attack begins the caries/decay process. however if you do drink the fizzy/juice use a straw. if you do eat sweet things brush your teeth directly after.
5. Avoid smoking. smoking and gum disease is linked.
6. Try brushing your teeth with baking soda once a week. it helps to keep your teeth white and alkalizes your mouth.
7. Brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper daily. one cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue.
8. A diet full of vitamins, minerals, and fresh fruit and vegetable helps keep your mouth healthy.
9. Have routine dental examinations and hygiene treatments. Preventative care is the way to go…both for your health & your pocket!