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Caring for your teeth

Key points

  • Good dental hygiene is a very important part of caring for your teeth.
  • Some of the most common dental problems include tooth decay, gum disease and dental erosion.
  • You can prevent these conditions by brushing your teeth twice a day, seeing your dentist regularly and limiting the amount of sugar in your diet.
  • It’s also important to floss between your teeth daily.
  • How often you need to see your dentist will depend on the health of your teeth and gums.

Video: how to brush your teeth

Further information


  • Caring for myteeth. British Dental Health Foundation., accessed 19 June 2013
  • Carbohydrate. British Nutrition Foundation., published October 2012
  • Gingivitis and periodontitis. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries., published August 2012
  • Gingivitis. BMJ Best Practice., published June 2013
  • Periodontal (gum) disease: causes, symptoms, and treatments. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research., published August 2012
  • O’Sullivan E, Milosevic A. Clinical guideline on dental erosion. Diagnosis and management of dental erosion., published 2007
  • Lussi A, editor. Dental erosion – from diagnosis to therapy. Basel: Karger, 2006
  • Advice. BDA 3D Mouth., accessed 20 June 2013
  • Personal communication, Dr Jason Leitch, Clinical Director, The Quality Unit, Scottish Government
  • Prevention and management of dental decay in the pre-school child. Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), 2005.
  • Robinson P, Deacon SA, Deery C, et al. Manual versus powered toothbrushing for oral health. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005, Issue 2. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002281.pub2
  • Sambunjak D, Nickerson JW, Poklepovic T, et al. Flossing for the management of periodontal disease and dental caries in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 12. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008829.pub2
  • Scaling and polishing. BDA Smile., accessed 20 June 2013
  • Marinho VCC, Higgins JPT, Logan S, et al. Fluoride mouthrinses for preventing dental caries in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2003, Issue 3. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD002284
  • Public resources. American Dental Association., accessed 20 June 2013
  • Guideline on xylitol use in caries prevention. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry., published 2011
  • Hildebrandt G, Lee IK. Xylitol containing oral products for preventing dental caries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004, Issue 1. doi: 0.1002/14651858.CD004620
  • Sugar and dental caries. World Sugar Research Organisation., published November 2011
  • How smoking affects the way you look. ASH., published November 2009
  • Halitosis. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries., published January 2010
  • Joint Formulary Committee. British National Formulary (online). London: BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press., accessed 20 June 2013
  • SPC. Chlorhexidine gluconate antiseptic mouthwash peppermint flavour 0.2% W/V oromucosal solution. electronic Medicines Compendium., published November 2011


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  • This information was published by Bupa's Health Information Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition. The content is intended only for general information and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional. For more details on how we produce our content and its sources, visit the about our health information page.

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