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Looking after your teeth

Tooth decay is avoidable, here is some advice for you.

The first step is making sure you are registered with a dentist. NHS dentists are available locally, just visit NHS Choices website.
You need to see your dentist every year, or as often as they recommend.

Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes and always before you go to bed. Spit but don’t rinse afterwards as the fluoride in the toothpaste will help your teeth. Clean between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss at least once a day, this removes food and plaque from between your teeth. If you want, you can use a fluoride mouthwash between meals for extra protection.

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary food and drink with a meal. Still water and milk are best to drink between meals. Wait for 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything with acid in before you brush your teeth. You can chew a sugar free gum after eating, this will make more saliva which will cancel out the acids which form in your mouth after eating.

Smoking can cause tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and more seriously, mouth cancer. Smoking is also one of the main causes of bad breath.

Alcoholic drinks increase the risk of tooth decay as most of them contain lots of sugar. Alcohol can also cause mouth cancer, if you smoke or drink you are more at risk.

Oral piercing
There are many issues caused by oral piercings , infections, teeth can chip and break, tongue can swell, difficulty eating and swallowing. They can wear your teeth down and cause dental sensitivity.

Home whitening kits
Always seek advice from your dentist as some kits are not safe or effective.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your Public Health Nurse (School Nurse).

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.