Taking care of your teeth Fact Sheet

Taking care of your teeth Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet
Taking care of your teeth
Why is this good for my health?
• Good oral health includes things like
brushing your teeth, watching what you
eat and drink, and having regular dentist
checkups. These are vital for general health
and wellbeing.
• Looking after your teeth and gums may
also help to protect you from more serious
health conditions including heart disease,
strokes and bowel cancer.
Why else would I want to do this?
• A healthy mouth, teeth and gums
enables us to eat, speak and to smile with
How can I make a start?
• Cut down on sugary and acidic drinks: Try to
swap fizzy drinks (including diet versions),
smoothies, diluting and fresh fruit juices for
milk and water, which are better for teeth.
If you do have sugary or fizzy drinks, try
to dilute juice well and limit to mealtimes
only. Using a straw also means sugary drinks
have less contact with teeth. Remember
that acidic beverages also include alcopops,
cider and wine.
• Eat healthier snacks: Instead of snacking
on sugary foods which can damage teeth,
try tooth-friendly snacks between meals:
fruit, veggie sticks, oatcakes or toast are
some suggestions. Limit sugary foods to
mealtimes only.
• Brush brush brush! Brush in the morning
and before going to bed, with a brush
small enough to reach all areas of your
mouth easily. Ensure the bristles are soft to
medium to prevent damaging your gums,
and change your toothbrush at least every
3 months or when the bristles show signs of
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• Use a pea sized amount of fluoride
Toothpaste: Use toothpaste that is at least
1000ppm of Fluoride. For children under 2
years, just a smear of toothpaste is enough.
• Use a Circular Brushing Motion: Brush in
small circles along the gum line (where your
teeth meet your gums) and gently scrub the
top surfaces, making sure you cover all the
• Brush for 2 Minutes: to ensure that all the
surfaces are clean. Supervised brushing is
recommended for children under 8.
• Spit Don’t Rinse: Once you’ve finished
brushing, spit out your toothpaste but
do not rinse your mouth afterwards!
Toothpaste contains fluoride which helps to
strengthen and protect teeth and this works
best if it isn’t rinsed away after brushing.
• Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Register with a
dentist and have regular check-ups to keep
your teeth healthy, so that you need fewer
or no treatments.
Who else can help?
• You can get information on how to
find a dentist by contacting the Dental
Information and Advice Line on 0845
45 65 990 between 8.05am and 5.45pm,
Monday to Friday or by visiting Teeth
TLC website www.teethtlc.com.
• Teeth TLC: www.teethtlc.com . Oral
health information and resources with
specific sections for individuals, parents
and carers, professionals, nurseries,
schools, workplaces and help to find
a dentist.
• British Dental Health Foundation:
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