NHS dentists: Residents in North East share their experiences
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Nailing good foundations for your oral hygiene can help to eliminate issues before they get a chance to arise. A healthy smile can be looked after with minimal fuss so long as you remain disciplined and stick to a routine. Express.co.uk spoke with an expert dental hygienist to understand how you can look after your teeth.
How often should I see my dentist?
The rate at which you should pay a visit to your dental practice can vary somewhat depending on your risk level for tooth decay and other diseases.
Anna Middleton, the founder of London Hygienist, told Express.co.uk that you should see your dentist “at least once a year”, though you can also pay regular visits to a dental therapist and hygienist to “optimise your oral health”.
The dental hygienist added that there’s no fixed number on how often you should visit your dentist, explaining that “prevention and early detection are always better than late intervention”.
Should you visit a dentist more often the older you get?
Getting older doesn’t necessarily mean you need to up your visits to the dental practice.
In fact, it all depends on what risk factors you present that could impact your oral health.
Ms Middleton said: “More frequent visits means that any changes can be picked up sooner.
“For dental exams, this can be six to 12 months but for preventative treatment and maintenance with the hygienist it can be every three months.”
Comparatively, if you choose not to visit your dentist regularly it can lead to some nasty consequences, such as tooth decay and gum disease – all of which are “completely preventable” according to Ms Middleton.
She said: “Regular visits mean we can monitor if there are any changes in the teeth, gums and the soft tissues as dental healthcare professionals perform oral cancer screenings at every appointment.”
To help prevent these issues and to maintain good oral hygiene Ms Middleton has laid out three fundamental tips.
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1) Brush, brush, brush
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can help to remove dental plaque, which is what causes tooth decay and gum disease.
Cleaning in between your teeth at least once a day, as well as spitting the toothpaste out rather than rinsing with water will also help to achieve these results.
According to Ms Middleton, rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash is “clinically proven to reduce plaque for additional benefits”.
2) Limit sugars and acids to mealtimes only
By following this rule you can reduce the damage things, such as sweets and citrus fruits, can have on your teeth.
3) Establish a consistently good oral health routine
With regards to this Ms Middleton said making an appointment with a dental healthcare professional is a “great place to start”.
She added: “This will allow for a full examination and diagnosing of any dental disease. We then will work with you to give you a tailored oral hygiene plan to fit your needs.”
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