If you’re like most people, you probably forget just how important it is to take proper care of your teeth – you only get one set after all. Here’s a quick refresher of the key things to know in your teens and 20s.
Teens and 20s dental care
Teens and 20s dental care
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Oral piercings and oral health
Before you consider a mouth, tongue or lip piercing, it’s important to known that they can often lead to chipping of teeth and gum recession. Infection and swelling are also common problems. Remember to remove any oral jewellery before eating, sleeping or playing sport.
Testing the waters
It’s important to understand that smoking, binge drinking and recreational drugs can damage your oral health in the future. These habits increase your risk of:
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Dry mouth
- Oral cancer
- Tooth wear
Make healthy choices now to improve your quality of life later.
Best and worst foods for your teeth
Best foods for fighting tooth decay
- Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables
Fibre-rich foods like carrots, broccoli and apples stimulate the flow of saliva – a natural defence against decay.
- Dairy products
Calcium, found in dairy products, helps keep teeth strong and healthy. Some of the best dairy products for your teeth are milk, natural yoghurt and cheese.
- Sugar-free chewing gum
After meals or snacks, chewing sugar-free gum increases saliva production which rinses harmful acids off your teeth – reducing your risk of decay.
Worst foods for tooth decay
- Sticky sugary snacks
Food that can stick to your teeth make it difficult for saliva to wash the sugars away. After eating a sugary treat, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum.
- Sugary carbonated soft drinks
Soft drinks, sodas and energy drinks all contain high amounts of sugar and acid which erode tooth enamel. We recommend drinking these drinks only occasionally and through a straw, so it has less contact with your teeth.
- Citrus fruits and juices
Citrus fruits and juices are high in acid which can erode your tooth enamel and lead to decay. If you’re drinking juices or lemon water, remember to rinse your mouth with water or chew sugar-free gum after.
Tips for healthy teeth and gums
Brushing your teeth every day is the most important way to protect your teeth. Our dentists recommend you:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss daily
- After brushing, just spit, don’t rinse
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals
- Visit your dentist regularly.
If you have braces, it’s even more important to follow these tips and take extra care of your teeth.
Visiting the dentist for regular dental check-ups is the best way to help:
- Keep teeth and gums healthy
- Prevent future dental problems
- Give you a bright and more confident smile.
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