There are so many good reasons to keep your and your whānau’s teeth and gums healthy. Everyone wants that sparkling smile, to be able to chew for good nutrition, and to avoid toothaches and discomfort.
Teeth have a huge influence on your appearance and overall health. Keep them clean, white and healthy and you have a wonderful asset. Neglect them and your appearance and health both suffer. Daily care, along with a healthy diet and regular visits to your dental practice, will keep your smile in top condition. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:
- your teeth are clean and free of debris
- gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- bad breath is not a constant problem.
It recommended that you brush your teeth two times a day - the regimen for adults' good daily oral care is ‘brush, floss, scrape'.
Floss between your teeth once a day:
- Scrape your tongue daily
- Chew sugar-free gum
- Rinse with mouthwash
- Visit your dentist or dental hygienist regularly.
If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, see your dentist. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem.
Your dentist or hygienist can help you learn good oral hygiene techniques and can help point out areas of your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing.
Diet is an essential supporting act
A diet that is low in sugar and rich in calcium, phosphate and fluoride will give your body good building blocks for teeth. Drinking plenty of water will also help ensure you have enough saliva to help keep cavity-forming bacteria and acids at bay.
More information about Oral Health
New Zealand children are entitled to free basic oral health services from birth until their 18th birthday.
As soon as your child's teeth appear they are at risk of decay – this is usually at around 6 months.
Five tips for a healthy smile
Looking after teeth is not just about brushing. The kinds of food we eat can affect acid levels in our mouths and cause decay.
How our teeth progress as we age
For a lot of people in our community, water is not the drink they first grab – it’s often a sugar sweetened variety they reach for.