Basic Tips for Healthy Teeth & Gums

It’s easy to heave healthy teeth and gums for life if you follow a regular oral hygiene program.

How to Brush Your Teeth Correctly | Colgate

Watch this short video to find out the proper way to brush your teeth and tongue for fresh breath and better oral hygiene.

Four Steps to Healthy Dental Habits

Use fluoridated toothpaste and brush gently, taking care to brush all tooth surfaces and along the gum line with a soft toothbrush.
Brush after breakfast and at night before bed.

Children up to 8 years need supervising and should have their teeth brushed by an adult at least once a day.

Use a children’s toothpaste for younger children as the adult toothpastes tend to have a stronger taste and foaming action that they may not like.

To clean food debris and plaque from between the teeth, you need to floss as well as brush. Here’s how to do it properly:

  • Wind about 45 cm of floss around your middle fingers and pull it taut between your thumbs and middle fingers.
  • Slide the floss gently between your teeth and pull it gently from side to side.
  • Run the floss all the way up to the point where the tooth meets the gum, then slide it gently under the gum line.
  • Avoid ‘sawing’ into the gums as this can damage them.

A poor diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates, sugars and starches greatly contribute to the production of plaque acids that attack the tooth enamel. Eventually, these acids can cause tooth enamel to break down, forming a cavity.

If you do eat foods high in sugar or starch, try to eat them during meals, rather than between meals, and avoid any foods that stick to your teeth, because these can produce more plaque. Saliva production rises during meals, which can help rinse food and acids from the mouth.

Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. Almost all foods, including milk and vegetables, contain some type of sugar; however; these foods are a necessary part of a healthy diet, because many of them also contain important nutrients. To help control the amount of sugar you consume, read food labels and choose foods and beverages that are low in added sugars. Added sugars are often present in soft drinks, sweets, biscuits and pastries.

Taking care of your teeth means more than brushing and flossing. For complete care, it is important to visit a dental practitioner every six months for a regular check-up and professional cleaning.

The first step in this process is to find a dentist with whom you feel comfortable, and then schedule an appointment. Most dental visits are check-ups. Regular checkups (ideally every six months) and professional cleaning will help your teeth and gums stay cleaner, last longer and can prevent painful problems from developing.

Principal dentist Dr Natalie Bowen graduated in 2002 from the University of Queensland with honours. Natalie spent her early career supporting the rural community in Charters Towers and surrounding regions for 4 years. She returned to Brisbane, working several years in private practice before establishing Murrumba Downs Family Dental in 2010.

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We accept all health funds and are preferred providers for Medibank Private, HCF, TUH, and NIB. Members of these funds have low to no out of pocket expenses for preventative services.

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New patients are welcome and we accept patients of all ages.

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