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Oral and Dental Health

Maintaining oral health is vitally important for your health as bad oral health can have an overall effect on your body. Brushing your teeth regularly, flossing & using mouthwash after every brush and attending dental check-ups will help to keep your smile at it's best. Some of the most common problems people face if they neglect oral hygiene are bad breath, gingivitis, tooth decay, gum disease, oral thrush, toothache and loss of teeth. All of these problems are avoidable with a simple and regular routine that helps to improve and maintain oral hygiene.

Healthy Lifestyle:

One of the best ways to maintain good oral hygiene is by living a healthy lifestyle. Eating well, not smoking and limiting your alcohol intake will help to reduce plaque build-up on your teeth. As well as looking after your oral hygiene, this will also have a positive effect on the rest of your body.

What you eat and drink has a direct effect on tooth decay, eating a healthy, balanced diet such as fruit, vegetables, protein and starch-rich foods will help to keep tooth decay to a minimum. Limiting the amount of sugar intake through fizzy drinks, snacks and sweets are also essential for oral health. You should limit to having sugary food and drink during meal times and avoid eating or drinking high sugar products between meals. Most of the sugar we intake is through ready-made drinks or food, such as:

  • Sweets, cakes, biscuits
  • Chocolate
  • Cereal
  • Jam, marmalade or honey
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit juice
  • Soft, fizzy drinks or alcoholic drinks

Even though fruit drinks can count toward your 5-a-day portion of fruit & vegetable, it still contains high amounts of sugar, therefore it is ideal to only drink fruit drinks during meal times.

Oral Health

Smoke & Alcohol:

Smoking and alcohol can have a very damaging effect on your health, but also your teeth. Smoking is known to discolour your teeth, leaving them yellow or grey. Smoking also has an impact on your breath and greatly increases your risk of developing gum disease which leaves gums swollen, sore or infected and can lead to loss of teeth. Smokers are also at high risk of developing lung cancer and breathing problems, if you smoke 20+ cigarettes a day then you are 6 times more likely to develop mouth cancer compared to someone who doesn't. Stopping smoking will help you look and feel better.

Excessive alcohol drinking is known to increase the risk of developing mouth cancer. Cancer Research UK states that over 75% of patients with mouth cancer say they are frequent drinkers of alcohol. Alcohol can also erode the enamel on your teeth, which leads to tooth decay and eventually to gum disease. Both alcohol and smoking can stain teeth, as well as other drinks such as red wine and coffee, therefore if you want to keep a whiter smile, try to avoid these drinks.

Cleaning Teeth:

If your child has a regular teeth cleaning routine then they will benefit from strong white teeth as they grow. You should start to clean your child's gums with a soft-bristle toothbrush at bath time or before bed every day to get them used to brushing. As soon as your baby's first tooth comes through your you should switch to child toothpaste with fluoride, this helps to control and prevent tooth decay from an early age. You should brush your child's teeth twice a day and avoid them eating any toothpaste if possible. As your child grows older, you should encourage your child to hold the brush and guide it through their mouth, use a mirror and try to make brushing as fun as possible. You should also try and take your child to the dentist as early as possible, to get them used to the environment and encourage them to visit regularly in the future.

Peak Pharmacy Online provides a range of products to help with oral health such as sensitive mouthwash, waxed dental floss, Sensodyne toothpaste and essential dental products for children, all available to buy online with FREE UK mainland delivery available.

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For more information on Oral and Dental hygiene, please visit the NHS Choices website.