The Irish Dental Association is urging Irish people to put dental health at the top of their health list this year.
The president of the Association, Dr Billy Davis, said people need to take action and following the IDA’s top 10 tips for 2011 would help ensure healthy teeth while also saving money in the long run.
Top tip guide for 2011
For consistent cleaning, brush your teeth and gums at the same time every day. Supervise children under seven.
Only use the recommended amount of toothpaste and ensure all teeth and gums are cleaned thoroughly. You can use different sized inter-dental brushes to clean plaque from inaccessible areas.
Make a special effort to quit smoking. Smoking is a major cause of preventable death, and oral problems include bad breath, stained teeth, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Your dentist can advise.
Change your toothbrush every three months and make sure to floss at least once a day.
Take time to read the sugar content of your food and drink and reduce intake of high sugar content foods. Keep snacks between meals to low-sugar or sugar-free foods.
Remember there is a relationship between oral health and general health and ask your dentist if a visit to your medical practitioner is appropriate.
Make a resolution to visit your dentist regularly so that small problems can be resolved before they become bigger, more complicated, and expensive.
If you decide to whiten your teeth, make sure to discuss with your dentist who can ensure safe and professional teeth whitening under the care of a qualified dental practitioner.
Arrange preventative fissure sealants for children reaching the age of six or seven as directed by your dentist. Follow up at six or 12 months intervals.
If you notice ulcers or lumps in your mouth or neck persisting for more than a week, arrange to have an oral cancer screening appointment with your dentist.
The tips and further information relating to dental health are available at www.dentist.ie