Why is good dental health important?
On this page
- Taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums is important.
- A healthy mouth helps you to eat, smile and speak.
- It also helps you feel confident to socialise with other people and feel good about yourself.
How do I clean my mouth, teeth and gums?
It is very important to clean your teeth or dentures and your gums twice a day in the morning and at night.
- Use a small, soft-bristled or powered toothbrush.
- Use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and protect against decay.
- Spit out the toothpaste, but do not rinse.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or earlier if the bristles are worn.
- Have a regular health check for your mouth, teeth and gum.
Other important dental health tips
- Drink plenty of tap water. Most tap water in Tasmania has fluoride added to it. This helps strengthen your teeth and prevent decay.
- Avoid food and drinks containing sugar (like soft drinks) and acid (like fruit juice).
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, especially vegetables and fruit. Learn more about healthy eating through the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
- Chew sugar-free gum in between meals to stimulate saliva. This helps protect your teeth from decay.
- Wear a mouthguard if you play a contact sport. These are sports where you may connect with someone else. Contact sports can include football, rugby, boxing, martial arts, hockey, soccer, netball, basketball, and more. To find out if you can get a mouth guard and for help fitting one, talk to your health professional at your appointment.
- Try to quit smoking if you are a smoker. If you need help, please call Quitline on 13 78 48. Learn more about how smoking impacts dental health.
What happens if you don't look after your dental health?
It is important to take care of your mouth, teeth, and gums to prevent or reduce illness. These include:
- tooth decay (this can cause your teeth to rot)
- gum disease (known as gingivitis or periodontitis)
- oral cancer
- heart disease and stroke
- early onset dementia (symptoms caused by disorders affecting your brain)
- respiratory conditions in older adults (these are illnesses that affect your breathing)
- giving birth to pre-term or low-weight babies.
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