Tooth care

Looking after teeth

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: March 24, 2011

Tooth care

Everybody will experience toothache and dental problems at some stage, however there are many things you can do to prevent dental problems before they start.


Brush teeth regularly

Brushing teeth twice daily is vital to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. Brushing teeth correctly removes plaque build up and acidic bacteria that leads to tooth decay and gum disease.


Dental flossing

Brushing teeth removes most of the bacteria and plaque from the mouth but it is easy for toothbrushes to miss plaque, food debris and bacteria in-between teeth. Flossing teeth twice weekly removes any stubborn plaque and prevents bacterial build up. Dental flossing is crucial to keeping gums healthy. 


Tongue cleaning

Not only does bacteria build up on the teeth and gums but bacteria also settles on the tongue and if not removed can lead to infections in the mouth. Dentists recommend using a professional tongue scraper or brushing the tongue with a toothbrush daily.


Avoid sugary food and drink

Saliva in the mouth works to neutralize the acid in bacteria caused by eating. Sugary foods are more acidic and bacteria caused by eating or drinking sugary foods takes longer to neutralize. Replacing a sugary diet with a diet rich in fiber will help the body produce more saliva and reduce the amount of tooth enamel destroying bacteria produced. 


Quit smoking 

Smoking increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer and is damaging to healthy mouth tissue.


Visit a dentist regularly

It is recommended that everyone visits a dentist twice a year to ensure no dental problems are left untreated. Six-monthly dental appointments should be combined with a thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist to remove plaque build-up.    


Control diabetes and other health problems

The health of your body and the health of your teeth and gums are connected. To ensure that dental problems are avoided and dental appointments are limited to routine check-ups, keep any health conditions under control.


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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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