Oral Health Care
The key strategies to prevent common oral health problems, such as tooth decay,
gum disease and bad breath, are to:
Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
It is important to brush morning and night
that builds up
on your teeth during
day and night
. Make sure you use
full strength fluoride toothpaste when brushing as it
gives your teeth
extra protection against tooth decay.
Tooth brushing technique:
Use a 'pea sized' amount of toothpaste, then:
Spit but don't rinse: Once you’ve
out the toothpaste you have left in your mouth, but don’t rinse
with water. This will
leave some of the
fluoride from the toothpaste in
your mouth for extra protection
against tooth decay.
What toothbrush? Choose a
toothbrush with soft bristles. Soft bristles are strong enough to remove plaque, but
do not damage the tooth enamel, like medium and hard
bristled brushes can!
plaque between teeth where it is difficult to reach with a
Flossing once a day is most beneficial, however if it can't
be done that often, try to floss at least three times a week.
- Use enough floss so that it can be twirled around the index finger on
each hand a couple of times (approx. 12-15 cm) that
way it won’t slip when flossing.
- Slide the floss gently between the teeth and follow the curves of the
teeth all the way to the gum line.
- Don’t snap the floss towards the gums.
- Repeat between all teeth.
Choose Healthy, Tooth Friendly Snacks and Drinks
When you eat or drink something with sugar in it, there will
be something called an acid attack on your teeth, and
the more acid attacks you have during the day, the more
chance there is of developing tooth decay. Find out more about acid attacks by
It is therefore important to
limit the number of times during the day you have
sweet food and drinks.
is ok to eat or drink something sweet now and then,
however choose healthy, tooth friendly options
as much as possible!
If you are having a sweet snack or
drink is best to have it with one of your main meals. Doing so makes it easier
to keep track of and limit the number of times during the day you have a sweet
snack or drink. Because saliva flow is high while we eat our main meals, it also
helps shorten the length of acid
attack, as saliva helps neutralise acid.
If you do have a sweet snack or drink outside main meal times,
it is best to have it all in one go. This will help reduce the length of time
teeth are affected by acid attacks.
For tooth friendly snack and drink ideas,
Smoking damages the blood vessels that keep your gums
healthy. If you smoke, it is therefore more likely that you will get the more
severe type of gum disease.
Smoking can also cause oral health problems such as:
- tooth staining
- bad breath
- reduced sense of taste and smell
- increased risk of oral cancer
As well as problems with oral health, smoking can also lead to many other health problems.
So be smokefree!
If you smoke, consider quitting.
You can get assistance to quit through the Quitline 0800 778 778 and through TXT
to Quit (see www.quit.co.nz)
Visit the dentist for a check-up every 12
check-up every 12 months
it is more likely that
oral health problems will be stopped at an early stage before they start causing
a lot of
pain and damage
our 12 monthly dental
check-ups will be
free until you turn 18, no matter where you are at: high
school, course, work or unemployed. To find out
more about going to the dentist,
If you are worried or anxious about going to the dentist,