Information on caring for your teeth and how to access dental care.
Keep on smiling
Access to dental treatment is slowly recovering after the pandemic. In some cases, there may be limited access. With this in mind, there has never been a better time to protect that smile and follow preventative dental and oral hygiene routines to maintain healthy teeth for all the family:
- Always wash hands before brushing your teeth – as oral hygiene routines involves touching the face and mouth, it is important to ensure good hand hygiene before brushing or caring for your teeth. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Watch the NHS washing your hands video.
- Don’t share toothbrushes – toothbrushes harbour a lot of germs and are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, so therefore no matter how close your family member, it is advisable to never share toothbrushes to avoid spread of these germs.
- Change toothbrushes regularly – toothbrushes can harbour a lot of germs, so it is essential to change your toothbrush on a regular basis, ideally every three months or earlier if the bristles become frayed.
- Store toothbrushes individually and upright to air dry – avoid toothbrush covers as they limit the toothbrush head to dry and can cause increased germ build up. Store your toothbrush stood upright to air dry, but remember to leave it separate and not touching other toothbrush heads to limit the spread of germs.
- Toilet lid down – many of us have sinks close to toilets. Keep this in mind when flushing to avoid faecal particles spreading to toothbrushes or soap dispensers.
- Clean the bathroom regularly – especially high touch surfaces such as door handles, taps, sinks, light switches and toilet areas.
- Brush teeth twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride containing toothpaste (fluoride content at least 1000ppm) – one occasion being last thing at night before bed.
- After brushing spit out any excess toothpaste in the sink – don’t swill your mouth out with water at the end of brushing as this will wash away the remaining fluoride toothpaste on your teeth and reduce the preventative action of brushing.
- Limit sugary food and drinks to a minimum – Plaque bacteria use sugars to create acid that in turn attacks the tooth enamel, if sugary items are eaten frequently throughout the day, acid can build up and attack the tooth enamel if not enough time between sugary drinks or snacks is given for the saliva to repair or break down the impact on the tooth enamel.