Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste is essential to good oral health. Not only does brushing your teeth help prevent tooth decay, it also helps prevent gum disease, which is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to heart attacks and strokes. Removing tooth stains and avoiding bad breath are added benefits of brushing your teeth.
Flossing your teeth every night can be a hard habit to develop, but it's one that is worth the effort. It provides a number of benefits from simply having cleaner-feeling teeth to preventing cavities to even avoiding tooth loss. Flossing reaches the places a toothbrush can't, and it removes from between your teeth the food particles and bacteria that get trapped before they develop into plaque and tartar. The Australian Dental Association recommends you should floss every day.
Many children suffer from poor dental health e.g. tooth decay (dental caries), despite oral disease being largely preventable. Because tooth decay in the baby teeth can mean that a child will develop tooth decay in the adult (permanent) teeth, it is important that your child adopts good oral hygiene habits early in life. You should brush your children’s teeth and encourage them to learn how to brush correctly, using a small quantity of low strength fluoride toothpaste. Teach your children to use dental floss as they get older. Good oral hygiene at an early age will reduce the likelihood of dental disease.
All adults can maintain good dental health throughout adulthood by adopting good oral hygiene practices and by having a healthy diet. Common oral health conditions in adults can include tooth decay (dental caries), gum disease, tooth wear, dry mouth and tooth sensitivity. Decay in adults can be common around fillings and between teeth. It is important to ask your dentist how often you need a check-up to avoid costly and more complex treatment. To prevent gum disease, which can often lead to loss of teeth, it is important to use a small, soft toothbrush (and a non-harmful technique of brushing), together with daily use of dental floss. Brush your teeth at least twice a day (after meals) and use a fluoride toothpaste. This fights the decay process and helps the enamel to resist acid attack.
The link between oral health and general health is important. Problems with teeth, gums and dentures can significantly affect the overall wellbeing of an older person. Taking medications and other general health conditions can impact on a person’s oral health. It is important for older people to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including those who wear dentures. It is most important to visit your dentist at intervals which suit your dental condition and age, to screen for dental disease and more serious diseases of the mouth. Tell your dentist about any general health problems and any medication you are taking as this may affect your dental health and treatment.