How to look after your teeth and gums

How to look after your teeth and gums

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7 steps to better oral health

Dental health starts with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. Dr Misagh Eshragi from our Surry Hills Health Centre provides expert advice.

  1. Brush and floss at least twice a day. Brush your teeth after meals (and especially before you go to sleep at night) with a small, soft-bristled brush – which is gentle on your gums.

  2. Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces risk of decay.

  3. Limit sugary foods and acidic drinks*. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes or cavities. If you’re going to have them, do it with meals rather than on their own. Avoiding foods that are very crunchy/sticky will also put your teeth at less risk of deteriorating. Drinking plenty of tap water is best!

  4. Eat well. Good nutrition is important for healthy teeth and gums. Eating a well-balanced diet gives gum tissues and teeth the nutrients and minerals they need to stay strong and resist infections. When you snack, choose teeth and gum-friendly options like cheese and dry crackers, vegetables, natural yoghurt or fresh fruit.

  5. Avoid injury. Wear a mouthguard during activities that could cause injury (e.g. when playing sport).

  6. Keep dentures clean. If you wear dentures, clean them after eating to remove food particles and plaque. Brush the inside and outside with mild soap and water. Take them out overnight to let your mouth rest. After cleaning, keep your dentures in a cup of fresh cold water.

  7. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food. If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.


Emergency dental treatment

If you experience any of the following symptoms, please go straight to a dental hospital, or the emergency department of your local hospital, for treatment:

  • Facial swelling
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Accident or trauma.


Learn more

For more info on taking care of your teeth and gums, check out The Australian Dental Association’s videos and articles.