You can do a great deal to help yourself and the hygienist, as you are in control of your mouth between visits to the practice. Your hygienist will have shown you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
They will also have shown you how to clean between your teeth with interdental brushes, floss or tape.
There are many oral care products now available including specialist toothpastes, power or electric toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you.
We recommend you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
• brush your teeth last thing at night, and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste.
• cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
• visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Cutting down the amount of sugar in your diet, and the number of times that you eat during the day, can help to reduce decay. Your hygienist can help you by looking at your decay problem and your diet, and by making some recommendations for you to consider.
Chewing sugar-free gum for 10 minutes after meals can also help to prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which in turn cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.
If you need free and impartial dental advice please do not hesitate to contact the NHS Helpline 111 (local rate call in the UK).