There is an obsession, and quite rightly so, about keeping our bodies healthy. The reasons for this are obvious. You keep fit, you eat foods that are good for you, you avoid fatty foods, sugar and salt and hopefully this will keep you in good shape. This is all well and good but what we sometimes neglect is our oral healthcare. With this in mind I thought I would take a trip down to my local Belfast dentist to ask her about a few things that people come to her to ask about and why it is important to stay on top of the game when it comes to your mouth.
The first thing I asked her was what the most common question she was asked. The answer was trifold and essentially boiled down to when should I start brushing my children’s teeth, how often should I brush and how often should I visit the dentists? The answers were as you can imagine pretty common sense.
First of all you should start brushing your children’s teeth as soon as possible. This does two things namely, it starts to provide protection not just for the developing teeth but also the gums, and it also helps to develop a habit of teeth cleaning. Secondly, in answer to how often, it is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. It is up to you when you do it but it is probably best done in the morning after breakfast and again in the evening after dinner. Finally with regards to how often you should visit the dentist she replied that at least every six months. The reason for this is not just to spot tooth decay but it helps the dentist to identify more serious problems like mouth cancer and intervene before it gets serious.
When I asked her what else many people were concerned about she replied bad breath. Halitosis as it is also known is caused by numerous things. Obviously she said brushing regularly and using mouthwash helps, but you should also floss to get the bits you miss between your teeth out and what you can also do is check your diet and lifestyle. Eating the wrong things and more importantly smoking and drinking alcohol can also have a serious impact not just on your health but also your teeth.
All pretty good advice I would say.