Recent reports reveal an increasing trend of bad oral hygiene among young people. These reports show that around 170 under 18s per day across the UK underwent tooth extraction procedures in 2016-17.

These shocking numbers are contributed to the ‘sugar crisis’, but other factors are just as likely to cause tooth decay and loss in people of all ages. To maintain good oral hygiene, there are three vital steps everyone can take to protect their teeth and avoid preventable procedures such as fillings and tooth extractions due to tooth decay.

FLOSS – To remove plaque from between teeth and keep teeth and gums healthy, floss daily. Be sure to floss slowly using back and forth motions. Flossing before or after brushing the teeth comes down to preference, and there is no one option proven to be more beneficial to oral hygiene than the other. If using dental floss causes pain or bleeding, consider using dental tape instead.

REDUCE – To better practice oral care, cut out acidic drinks from your diet where possible. Acidic drinks include soft drinks, fruit juices and cordials. Food and drink that is acidic softens the materials that form the tooth and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing cavities in teeth. In more extreme cases, teeth exposed to acidic foods can be ‘eaten’ down to the gums through this process.

Sugary foods are also dangerous for teeth, as the bacteria in dental plaque turns sugars into acids, which cause cavities. Because of this, it’s important to limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks to a sensible amount and maintain a habit of regular teeth brushing.

BRUSH – Brush teeth smart and often. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, especially after meals and using a small-headed toothbrush to make reaching the back of the teeth easier. Using a small-headed electric toothbrush is a viable option, but manual brushes are just as capable of removing the plaque and bacteria responsible for tooth decay, as long as fluoride toothpaste is used regardless of if you’re using a manual or electric brush.

Fluoride toothpaste is an important element to oral care as fluoride hardens tooth enamel and reduces decay risk. If you are keen to whiten your teeth, we would recommend using a fluoride toothpaste that is gentle to teeth and gums, lightens teeth without harmful peroxides and is non-oxidising or bleaching.

When rinsing the mouth after brushing, do not rinse straight away, allow the concentrated fluoride of the toothpaste to stay in the mouth after spitting out excess toothpaste and rinse later. Using a mouthwash that contains fluoride can be beneficial, but mouthwash is best used in place of brushing after meals that one would not normally brush after, such as lunchtime.

To improve your oral care routine, take a look at our AP24 Whitening Toothpaste, with more oral care products coming soon to Nova Detox.