If you want to keep your teeth and gums healthy, regular visits to your dentist for hygiene appointments are a very important part of your oral hygiene programme. Most adults and children should visit every six months but if you are at greater risk of disease you will need more frequent appointments.
The healthier your teeth and gums are, the fewer dental treatments you will need.
Even if you have none of your own teeth left, you can benefit from regular visits as the dentist will check for conditions such as mouth cancer and dental stomatitis. The earlier they’re found, the better the chance of successful treatment.
Your dentist will check your teeth for decay and other potential problems, and review any fillings you have to ensure they are still in good condition. X-rays may be taken to check that no problems are developing in areas that can’t be seen by eye. If any teeth are cracked, weak or developing decay, the dentist will treat them to prevent later problems.
The dentist will scale and polish your teeth, removing any tartar that has built up since your last appointment and leaving your teeth clean and sparkling. They can also show you the best way to brush your teeth and use interdental brushes or floss. If you have bridges or other false teeth, they can help you care for them.
You can improve your own oral hygiene between appointments by brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and flossing after meals. Drinking a glass of water after meals is also a good idea, as it rinses away particles of food.
Avoiding sugary snacks and drinks will help prevent tooth decay for longer, as well as improving your overall health. Acidic fruits and drinks, such as citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, wine, smoothies, fruit juice and fruit teas can cause tooth erosion if you have them often, so take them only in small quantities.
We also recommend that you wait at least an hour after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth as eating and drinking makes your tooth enamel softer for a short while. Waiting allows your saliva to restore the natural strength of the enamel.
We want you to keep your teeth for life: regular checkups, scaling and polishing and good oral hygiene at home will go a long way towards ensuring you do so.