Visit the dentist:

It is important for adults to visit the dentist at least once a year, for children every 6 months due to growing mouth and teeth. Oral examinations are important to help prevent oral disease (i.e. tooth decay, gum disease) and detect early signs of oral cancer.


Keep sugar to a minimum, any sugary foods or drinks should only be consumed at meal times. Snacks between meals should not contain sugar and acidic drinks should be avoided.

Tooth brushing:

Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Tooth brushing is the only effective way of removing plaque from teeth and gums. Interdental cleaning such as floss/tepe brushes should also be used to remove plaque from in between the teeth. It is essential to remove plaque to avoid gum disease (gingivitis/periodontitis).
Toothpaste should contain no less than 1350ppm fluoride.


Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent against decay. Fluoride can be found in drinking water however West Yorkshire is not one of these areas. It can be supplemented by fluoride drops for young children, high fluoride toothpaste can be prescribed and mouth rinses for older children and adults. Fluoride varnish can also be applied by the dentist or oral health educator at routine appointments.

Smoking and Alcohol:

Smoking cigarettes, cigars, roll ups and chewing paan or tobacco are all very harmful to the mouth. They are all high risk factors of gum disease (gingivitis/periodontitis) and oral cancer.

Drinking alcohol more than the recommended government amount also increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer. This is multiplied if you are a smoker.

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page updated 22/01/2024