News & blogs Blogs and vlogs The top five oral health pledges you can make on World Oral Health Day and the benefits that come with them As part of World Oral Health Day 2020 which is taking place on 20th March, we're encouraging everyone to have a think about their oral health routines. Just small changes in our oral health routine, such as using interdental brushes daily, can give our oral health a massive boost. Remember, better oral health doesn't just mean cleaner teeth - it also can mean fresher breath, more confidence and even a reduction in our risk of strokes and heart disease. To help give you some ideas of how you can change your oral health for the better below are our top five oral health pledges you can make as part of this year's World Oral Health Day! 1. Brush my teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste It’s simple. You’ve probably heard it before. But honestly, if you don’t do already do this, this is by far the most effective oral health pledge you can make to improve your oral health. Brushing twice a day not only makes sure your brushing off plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums – the fluoride means that your teeth stay protected throughout the day. For children up to three years old they should use a smear of toothpaste with a fluoride level of no less than 1000ppm (parts per million). After three years old we recommend using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste that contains 1350ppm to 1500ppm. 2. Cut down on acidic foods and drinks in my diet I’m sure you’ve heard about the dangers of consuming too much sugar when it comes to oral health but do you know how acidic the foods you eat and drink are? Acid harms your oral health by causing dental erosion – the weakening of the surface of your enamel. Enamel is the hard protective layer of your teeth and unfortunately it can’t grow back so once it’s gone, it’s gone. Acidity is measured pH. The lower the pH number, the more acidic the product. Anything with a pH value lower than 5.5 may cause erosion. Here’s the pHs of a few common foods and drinks that you may be consuming frequently without realising the effect they are having on your teeth: Cheddar cheese pH 5.9 Lager pH 4.4 Orange juice pH 3.8 Cola pH 2.5 Red wine pH 2.5 3. Visit my dentist regularly, as often as they recommend This one is very important. Just like how you need to regularly take your car to be serviced, your mouth also needs servicing too and the dentist is in the best position to do it. You shouldn’t just visit the dentist when you have a problem, by then, it’s too late. By going regularly, as often as they recommend, you can stay on top of your oral health and stop oral health problems such as tooth decay before they’ve settled in. This will save you time and money as you won’t need to go in for extra visits to sort out issues. Remember the dentist and the wider dental team are there to support you in looking after your oral health, they’re not there to ‘tell you off’ or simply to carry out fillings and extractions. They can be a great source of help and advice, use them! 4. Start using floss or interdental brushes One question you might get during a dental visit is ‘do you clean between your teeth?’. Statistics show that a lot of us fib and say we do so regularly when in actual fact sales of floss suggest that only about 5% of us actually do. You might think it unnecessary but the bottom line is that whilst brushing your teeth is vital your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere. Floss or interdental brushes get where your toothbrush can’t – in between your teeth. By leaving these areas untouched they can become a breeding ground for plaque which can go on to cause both tooth decay and gum disease. By making this pledge and sticking to it you’ll not only just be making your dentist happy, your teeth and gums will really appreciate it too! 5. Snack healthier Seven in ten (70%) of us believe that snacking has an impact on our oral health. And we are absolutely right. Sugary snacks and confectionary still manage to attract us. It appears our sweet-tooth is hard to ignore. For many, the secret to tackling snacking is not to cut it out altogether but to simply snack healthier. This means than instead reaching for the biscuit jar when you feel peckish, you grab a handful nuts or some cheese instead. These snacks are much more tooth friendly; they’re non-acidic, low in sugar and will still give you the energy boost you need. So there you have it. Five top oral health pledges you could make right now that would give a massive boost to your oral health. You don’t have to take them all on at once, even just doing one is still a lot better than not doing any at all. If you do take one on and see the benefits then make sure to tell your friends, family or colleagues so that they can try it too!