- Dr Vyla Ellis
"I'm just too busy to go to the dentist" - 4 simple tips to fit dental health into you
Aussies are busy people. We work some of the longest weeks in the first world. Then there's the hobbies, sports, the kids' extra-curricular activities - where does it end? Many of us are sacrificing our dental health seeing it as an expendable activity in an already cramped schedule. Did you know that only half of all Australian's brush their teeth twice a day? If this sounds like you then read on.
Here's the thing. Dental health is ESSENTIAL to your daily routine and here's why:
People with more teeth have a greater life expectancy
Your risk of heart disease and chest pain doubles if you have untreated gum disease
Poor oral health is linked to premature births
Flossing daily increases your life expectancy by 6 years
There are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people on the earth
Are you still thinking about that last one? Gross thought isn't it. Here's what you should do about it:
1. Morning and night brushing, even when you're rushing
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes after breakfast and before bed, every day.
Always use a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head. If you are using an electric toothbrush use the sensitive heads.
Have a systematic routine for brushing - e.g brush all the outsides, then all the insides, then all the biting surfaces.
Be gentle, you can damage your teeth if you press too hard.
Fluoride toothpaste is best.
2. Floss like a boss
Floss once a day.
If you find floss difficult use a flossette or an interproximal brush - they look a bit like a pipe-cleaner and you can buy them at the supermarket.
Kids should start flossing once they have 2 teeth touching.
3. An apple a day keeps the dentist away
Sugar causes decay so limiting sugar is great for your teeth.
Chose teeth friendly foods - see our blog "10 super foods for your teeth" for suggestions.
Check the food label for hidden sugars.
Water is best. Fruit juice and soft drinks are high in sugar whilst sports drinks and all fizzy drinks are acidic and strip the enamel from the teeth.
4. Don't let it slip, make a dental trip
Make sure you visit the dentist regularly. We recommend visiting every 6 months.
Even dentists have to visit the dentist - we can't check our own teeth for decay and gum disease either.
What are you waiting for? Put down that sugary snack, buy some floss, brush your teeth and make a dental appointment.
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