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Guides: Teeth

Last Updated: Tuesday January 24 2006 13:33 GMT

Looking after your teeth

Dentists say you should:

  • Clean your teeth at least twice a day to prevent plaque build up.
  • Use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Rinse out your mouth after eating sticky foods.
  • Have a dental check up every six months or every year.
  • Floss between your teeth.

How to brush your teeth

Experts say you should brush your teeth for two minutes, using as much pressure as the weight of an orange. They say any longer and you're not getting rid of any more plaque.

Dentists say that after eating or drinking acidic food or drink, such as fruit, fruit juice or fizzy drink, you should wait an hour before cleaning your teeth. By brushing straight away, you are rubbing the acid into the enamel on your teeth.

Sticky food

Eating a diet rich in sugar and starch increases the risk of tooth decay, and sticky foods can be a particular problem because they are more likely to remain on the surface of the teeth.

Frequent snacking also increases the amount of time that acids are in contact with the teeth.

The best way to keep teeth in good condition is to ensure that you clean them regularly to get rid of any plaque build up.

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