Maintaining good oral health is something that is instilled in us from a very early age. Brushing teeth twice a day, flossing regularly and avoiding sugary drinks – these are the same oral health tips that most adults will have heard themselves as children and since passed on to their own children.
However, the average person now spends around 40 hours a week at work, not including the time spent commuting to and from work. Add to this the responsibilities of everyday life – running a household, raising children, attending a gym, maintaining a healthy social life – and it’s not hard to see why (or how!) more and more people are neglecting their oral health.
Statistics from National Smile Month, a campaign run by the Oral Health Foundation, paint a stark reality for the state of oral hygiene in the UK. According to their research, a quarter of adults do not brush their teeth twice a day. One in three adults also revealed that they have never flossed their teeth.
Statistics published by the NHS in 2017 also revealed that in a 24 month period ending 30th June 2017, only 51.4 per cent of the adult population were recorded as visiting their dentist.
Considering the UK currently spends around £5.8 billion a year on dental treatments, it’s becoming very apparent that it’s more important than ever to try and maintain a healthy oral routine alongside a busy lifestyle.
Taking action now can avoid serious consequences for your teeth later on in life. Here are just some of the ways in which you can adopt a healthy oral hygiene routine and keep your mouth happy!
Organise Your Day
If your busy schedule means that you’re constantly forgetting to floss your teeth in the morning, or you consistently forgo the evening brush in favour of climbing straight into bed, it’s probably down to the way you organise your day.
Little changes to your routine can make a huge difference. For example, ironing your clothes and preparing your food the night before can save you time in the morning, meaning you’re less likely to skip the morning floss.
Switch off the TV a few minutes earlier at night so that you’re not too tried to brush your teeth before getting into bed.
Avoid Unhealthy Snacks
It’s easy to reach for the unhealthy option when you’re rushed for time or constantly on the move; after all, fast food is named just that for a reason. However, to maintain healthy teeth, it’s important to reduce the number of sugary snacks you consume.
Whilst you might think that the odd fizzy drink or sweet treat isn’t going to cause too much damage, you’d be surprised at what it can do to your teeth over a long period of time.
Cutting down (or ditching altogether!) is essential. To avoid reaching for the unhealthy snack during your busy 9-5, prepare your food beforehand. Take snacks such as nuts and carrot sticks along with you so that when hunger hits, you’re always prepared.
Drink Lots of Water
Whether talking about the health of your teeth or just your overall health, drinking water is extremely beneficial. Sugar- and calorie-free, it’s the best beverage to keep your mouth looking and feeling fresh (it can even help you avoid the dreaded morning breath).
Keep hydrated throughout the day by keeping a water bottle on you at all times. You can top this up almost anywhere you go; a quick and easy refill that won’t waste much time.
Drinking water regularly also helps you to produce more bacteria-fighting saliva and therefore reduces the risk of gum disease.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
By regularly, we mean at least twice a year. By visiting your dentist for your routine check ups (no matter how busy you are), you can avoid getting any nasty surprises later on. Your dentist will be able to identify any possible issues and provide treatment there and then for any existing problems, before they become more serious.
Book your appointments in advance and stick them straight into your calendar (at home and at work). This will mean it’s planned into your busy schedule and you won’t be tempted to skip it.
If you’re well overdue a dental visit, or simply looking to arrange a check up with a friendly and experienced private dentist, please do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment.