As a dentist, we get used to hearing many stories from our patients. It is not uncommon to hear horror stories about dentistry and bad experiences can be traumatic for many people and can even stop them seeking help when they are in dire need.

Here are some tips to help you achieve a healthy happy mouth.

  1. Choose a dentist that you like. Try a few by booking a check-up and then decide which one you wish to see again. If you have a bad experience, then discuss this with the dentist and if it can be resolved then try to build a relationship with that dentist otherwise move on and find another dentist. Please do not give up on your teeth, instead give up on your dentist.
  2. Stop drinking fizzy drinks. This includes diet drinks and fizzy water. There are three main problems with fizzy drinks:
    1. They are fizzy! Carbon dioxide is pumped into the liquid to make it fizzy and when this reacts with water, it forms carbonic acid and this damages teeth.
    2. They contain sugar. Diet drinks do not contain sugar but are more acidic thus more damaging to teeth.
    3. They contain caffeine. This makes them very addictive and there can be withdrawal symptoms if you drink them a lot and suddenly stop. Did you know that they can increase depression and cause mood alterations? Try to stop for a few weeks and see how you feel.
  3. Brush your teeth every night and one other time of the day. After you eat, it is best to wait for about one hour before you brush your teeth.
  4. Use interdental cleaning aids.
  5. Remove your dentures every night.
  6. Limit sugars to meal times.
  7. Fruit juices and smoothies can damage your teeth due to acid erosion.
  8. Stop smoking and take regular exercise.
  9. Clean your gums gently. Did you know that poor oral hygiene can affect your blood sugar levels and thus affect diabetes?
  10. Have your teeth checked regularly as advised by the dentist.