Good mouth care is important for a patient’s dignity, ability to eat and drink, overall care and general health, improving the oral health of our patients – giving them a better quality of life and helping to reduce the risk of infections such as pneumonia and hence shorten Hospital stays.
The Mouth Care Matters programme is being funded by Health Education England, Kent, Surrey and Sussex will now be introduced into all acute hospitals across the south east of England.
Full details available on the Mouth Care Matters website
Oral hygiene and tips to improve brushing
With the professional cleaning you have received it is important to make sure that you clean your teeth properly. This should be part of your daily routine.
Here are some tips to help you improve your brushing…
- Clean your teeth at least twice a day.
- After having a juice drink, wait at least half an hour before you brush your teeth. The juice is very acidic and makes your teeth weaker for a while.
- Brush your teeth with an electric tooth brush. It has a smaller head which helps you to reach difficult places.
- Toothpaste is a personal preference. If you have sensitive teeth you may want to try toothpaste for sensitive teeth which works after three to four weeks of using it. If you have any holes in your teeth the sensitive tooth paste will not help.
- Floss your teeth daily. Even with the best toothbrush you are not able to clean between your teeth. Use waxed floss, it moves smoothly on the surface of your teeth. Use a clean piece of floss for each tooth. If you use floss on a holder wash it with water in between cleaning each tooth. Do not be discouraged by bleeding, it is a safe way of cleaning your teeth. The bleeding will subside with time. Ask your dentist or hygienist to demonstrate the best technique for using floss.
- Brush and floss your teeth in front of a mirror.
- If you have to wear glasses, even for reading, please wear them when cleaning your teeth.
- If you are unsure if you are correctly brushing and flossing your teeth, please see your dentist.
- Mouthwash does not replace brushing. You might wish to use mouthwash as an additional measure after you do all of the above.
- Remember that the dentist will clean your teeth two to four times a year. You have a chance of maintaining it at least 730 times a year.
You still need to see your dentist on a regular basis for a check-up, even if you do not have any problems with your gums.