During the “New Normal”, we are encouraging everyone to be ‘Mouth Keepers’ with some free or low cost smart tooth tactics they can adopt to protect their oral health through this challenging period.”
Right now, there’s a storm for oral health issues with a range of factors coming into play, many people are stuck at home snacking more on sugary treats, others won’t head to a dental professionals as they’re concerned about virus transmission or public transport travel.
On top of that, some people have lost their job, distressed and can’t look after their oral health.
Here are some measures will save you money and help protect your mouth in the long term, though if you have any issues or concerns, always consult your dental professional.
- Brush twice daily with a toothbrush – it’s one of your best defences against tooth decay. But beware – brushes with bristles splayed sideways are due for the bin. An electric toothbrush isn’t necessary – and remember to brush gently as hard brushing will damage enamel.
- Always use a toothpaste containing fluoride for optimum protection of your teeth. Children should start using fluoride paste from 18 months of age and be supervised until they are old enough to do it alone.
- Clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes to free the trapped food debris and plaque that builds up, starting the tooth decay process and inflammation of the gums. Children need help to floss until they can manage it themselves.
- Ditch the rinse after brushing – spit out the excess toothpaste after brushing but don’t rinse with water. This leaves behind toothpaste residue to continue providing extra protection.
- Get sugar savvy and watch your sugar intake: the WHO recommends just six teaspoons a day – that’s around 24g, to decrease your risk of developing tooth decay.
- Be your own ‘sugar detective’: check the sugar content on food and drink – this may be per serve or per 100g. To make the content understandable, turn it into teaspoons. Divide the value by 4 as one teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams. So, if the label says 10g, this equals 2.5 teaspoons of sugar.
- How much is too much? Look at the sugar content per 100g serving on the NIP – if it’s more than 15g you should consider looking for an alternative with a lower sugar content – the lower the sugar the better – ideally less than 5g per 100g.
- Location, location: When deciphering the list of ingredients on food labels, the higher to the top of the list an ingredient is, the more of it is present in the item.
- Make it yourself: when you make your own foods from scratch at home you know exactly what and how much has – and has not – gone into it including how much sugar. What’s more, it will probably be cheaper than buying it.
- Be creative with alternative sources of sweetness in your life such as stevia, and when you get a sugar craving, opt for protein rich and tooth-friendly, nutritious snacks like nuts and cheese.