By leading London dentist Dr Richard Marques.
1 Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine. Brush twice daily for two to three minutes in the morning and evening. Any more and you can wear the teeth away, any less the teeth and gums may suffer.
2 Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up, and your hygienist once a year, making sure they clean with protective fluoride to keep teeth in tip-top condition.
3 Don’t forget to floss! Make sure you’re cleaning between the teeth at least once a day with dental floss, interdental brushes or an electric air or water flosser. It’s not uncommon for gums to bleed a little when you do this, but if they bleed a lot it could be a sign of gum disease and you should see your dentist.
4 Rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash to kill bacteria your toothbrush might miss. Use after brushing and whenever you need a quick freshen up.
5 Chew on some sugar-free gum for quick-fix to freshen breath, just be careful not to use this in place of brushing or rinsing as it won’t eliminate odour causing bacteria.
6 Don’t forget about your tongue! Use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper daily to remove bacteria and food residue left behind, keeping your mouth clean and your breath fresh.
7 Take Co Enzyme Q10, a vital molecule that’s every dentist’s favourite for overall gum health. It’s very difficult to get enough of this from diet alone, so I recommend taking supplements to boost intake.
8 Avoid sugary food and drinks. Bacteria in the mouth feeds on sugar, turning it into acid that can lead to tooth decay, so it’s best to steer clear of things like sweets and fizzy drinks.
9 You are what you eat, so make sure your diet includes lots of greens like spinach and kale which are high in anti-oxidants, as well as vitamins including Vitamin K, which is an important nutrient for a healthy mouth.
10 Don’t ignore tooth pain or smaller issues with teeth or gums. Make an appointment to see your dentist at the first sign of a problem and avoid the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease or any other potential health issues.