A new survey of 10, 000 UK adults has revealed that thousands of people admit to not brushing their teeth at night! Seriously?! I am a bit shocked by this revelation...even if I am exhaustedly crawling up the stairs to bed I'll still throw a toothbrush around my mouth. But 45% of those asked by GSK as part of its Love Your Mouth campaign say they have not brushed their teeth at night due to tiredness, laziness or forgetfulness.
Failing to have your evening brush can increase the chances of suffering from cavities, gum disease or tooth loss. Spending just 2 minutes twice a day brushing and an extra couple of minutes flossing helps prevent the build up of plaque that can lead to tooth decay.
Of those who do brush, 18% said they use only water and no toothpaste and 14% use a finger instead of a toothbrush. Again this seems a bit potentially damaging when there are a range of excellent toothpastes containing active ingredients and soft bristled brushes on the market, which do the job so well.
With 67% of respondents admitting to having fillings and 44% saying they know that they could take better care of their teeth, it is definitely worth reassessing your oral health and learn to love your mouth!
Here are ten tips to help improve your dental hygiene routine:
1: Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes each time. Wait for 40 minutes after eating to avoid damaging enamel, which is temporarily softened by acidic food and drinks.
2: Use a suitable toothpaste. Whether you have sensitive teeth, stained teeth or have bleeding gums there is a toothpaste that has a formula suitable for your oral health.
3: Use floss or interdental cleaning aids. The gaps between your teeth trap food, which can cause decay or inflammation over time.
4: Use mouthwash to help rinse away food particles, deter bad breath and reduce levels of bacteria in the mouth. Do it at a different time to brushing to maximise your daily oral hygiene.
5: Spit, don't rinse. Water will wash away the fluoride from the toothpaste.
6: Use disclosing tablets occasionally to check how well you are cleaning your teeth.
7: A small headed, soft bristled toothbrush is best for effective teeth cleaning.
8: Prevention is the key when it comes to oral hygiene procedures. Ask a dentist for advice.
9: Make brushing part of your morning and bedtime routines and instill the importance of good oral hygiene to every member of the family.
10: Visit the dentist for regular professional cleaning and check-ups. Issues can be sorted out quickly and easily if caught early.
Visit the Love Your Mouth Challenge at LoveYourMouth.co.uk and find out how to improve your dental health and get suggestions for suitable GSK dental products (which are available to buy in stores such as Tesco and Superdrug.)
I took the challenge and was recommended Corsodyl Daily mouthwash as I occasionally get bleeding gums after brushing. It offers everyday gum protection and has a clinically proven dual action formula. Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents cavities, while gums are protected by the removal of plaque and given a 12 hour protective shield. It has a pleasant minty taste that leaves the mouth feeling fresh. I was also recommended Sensodyne Repair and Protect as I suffer from tooth sensitivity. It offers daily relief from the discomfort of sensitivity while patented Novamin technology helps repair damage where dentine is exposed. Together, they are a good combination, helping to keep my teeth and gums healthy!