Nine simple steps to a healthier mouth – 7-16 years old

Nine simple steps to a healthier mouth – 7-16 years old


1) Regular dental check ups at least every 6 months

2) Food and Drink

  • a) Use a straw for any drinks except water
  • b) Particularly avoid drinking from bottles, especially fizzy drinks
  • c) No food or drink (except water) after brushing teeth at night
  • d) At most 4 sugary foods/drinks a day & only with meals
  • e) 5 portions of fruit & vegetables a day
  • f) Sugar free chewing gum after or between meals

3) Tooth-brushing

  • a) Use a full sized, medium bristled brush
  • b) Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day
  • c) For at least 2 minutes
  • d) Some people find electric toothbrushes easier. Battery ones are not recommended– ask the dentist or at reception
  • e) Clean between the teeth with floss or other recommended inter-dental products  ask the dentist or reception for more information

4) Toothpaste

  • a) At least 1,350 p.p.m. Fluoride (check the label)
  • b) Spit out the toothpaste, don’t swallow
  • c) Do not rinse after brushing

5) Fluoride

  • a) 0.05% NaF (check the label). Use mouthwash at a different time to brushing – e.g. when you get home from school
  • b) Topical fluoride from your dentist 2-4 times a year

6) If taking medications, use sugar free medications wherever possible

7) Avoid bad habits such as:

  • a) Thumb sucking
  • b) Any biting habits including biting nails or pens

8) Do not smoke or use tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, these can      cause cancer, gum disease, loose teeth & bad breath

9) Do not drink alcohol smoking and drinking are the two main causes of

oral cancer!!  For more information ask the receptionist or dentist, or visit the department of health website