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Are you one of the seven million people who didn’t brush their teeth this morning? Oral hygiene is something we should be taking seriously as not taking proper care of your mouth can not only lead to tooth decay, but also to gum disease, which is linked to health problems in other parts of your body too.

Diet, tobacco and poor oral hygiene are some of the risk factors contributing to dental problems. We’ve put together the five most important tips for making your teeth cleaner and healthier, all of which are simple but can make a big difference. Following these tips will help to reduce the likelihood of oral health problems and give you a smile that you’ll feel confident with.

Brushing twice a day, everyday, for two to three minutes is vital. What seems like an easy rule can often be hard to follow. Sometimes at night we may be too tired, or in the morning we’re rushing off to work. However, this simple step makes the most difference to your oral health. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste decreases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, just be careful not to brush too hard as this can also damage teeth.

Flossing
As you eat throughout the day, food gets trapped between your teeth. When you brush in the evening, some of this will be removed. However, in order to really get rid of the pieces of food in between your teeth which means flossing throughout the day is crucial.

Smoking
If you’re a smoker, the effect on your teeth is probably already apparent. The long-term damage to both teeth and gums should be a concern for any smoker as not only does it lead to tooth staining and decay, but also gum disease and mouth cancer.

Sugary Food and Drink
One of the main causes of tooth decay is the food and drink we consume. Sweets and fizzy drinks are common culprits, but we eat lots of other things which you may not realise have high levels of sugar. Smoothies, bread, salad dressings and alcohol all contain sugar. Always check the label for sugar content and try to stick to having sugary treats at mealtimes, rather than snacking on them throughout the day. Stick to water in between meals and try and brush or rinse your mouth out if you do have a sugary drink.

Visit Your Dentist
Even if you are careful about looking after your teeth, it’s so important to go to the dentist. A dentist can spot signs of tooth decay, gum disease or even mouth cancer, and can help you before the pain or damage become worse. Don’t wait until something goes wrong to visit your dentist, they are there to help you and make you have a healthier mouth which you feel happy with.

Jenny Kabir is the Clinical Director at Fresh Dental Smile Clinic. Fresh Dental Smile Clinic is a leading Dental Clinic in York. Free consultations are available and dental treatment ranges from simple fillings to outstanding beautiful smile makeovers, dental implants, teeth straightening and orthodontics. For further informaton visit www.freshsmiles.co.uk.