Taking care of your oral health is important for many reasons. Poor oral health can lead to a variety of problems, including cavities, gum disease, bad breath and even tooth loss. These issues can be painful, costly to treat and can have a negative impact on your overall health. In this blog, we’ll go through how to look after your teeth and gums to prevent these problems and maintain a healthy mouth.
Brush your teeth twice a day
Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good oral health. Brushing stops the buildup of plaque, a film of bacteria that coats your teeth when not appropriately brushed, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if not properly removed.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes each time. You can use either a manual or electric toothbrush; they’re equally good as long as you clean all your teeth’s surfaces and use fluoride toothpaste. Make sure you brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back and chewing surfaces.
Flossing is just as important as brushing, yet it’s often overlooked. Flossing helps to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gums. You should floss at least once a day, preferably before bed.
Tips for a good flossing technique:
- Use enough floss: Cut off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your fingers, leaving about two inches to work with.
- Be gentle: Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not forcefully push the floss into your gums.
- Curve the floss: Curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure to go beneath the gum line.
- Use a fresh section of floss: As you move from tooth to tooth, use a fresh section of your string of floss to prevent the bacteria from spreading.
Lead a healthy lifestyle
Your diet plays a big role in your oral health. Foods that are high in sugar and starch can contribute to cavities, whereas whole foods that are high in calcium can help to strengthen your teeth. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
You should also make sure you drink enough water. Drinking water helps to flush away bacteria and food particles in your mouth. It also helps to keep your mouth hydrated, which is important for maintaining healthy gums. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after meals to wash away any leftover food.
Visit your dentist regularly
Dentists help to prevent problems as well as solve them. They’re able to spot issues including the onset of gum disease and dental decay that can be treated quickly if spotted early enough, so it’s important to keep your annual appointments up to date.
People with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months as advised by the NHS. If your dentist recommends you visit more often then you should follow their advice. Dentists pick up early signs of any problems, avoiding larger issues in the long run.
Keep your mouth healthy with a health cash plan
Having a health cash plan allows you to claim back money towards a range of healthcare treatments, including dental care.
Without a health cash plan dental treatment can be expensive and cause people to avoid the necessary care due to costs. Put your healthcare as a priority by investing in your health, giving you peace of mind that when something comes up you’re covered.
Find out more about what dental cover you get with your health cash plan, and all of our other benefits by reading our plan guide.