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How to keep a healthy mouth

Healthy mouth.

Dental hygiene advice

Having a healthy mouth can make you feel better and help you maintain overall good health. Gum disease is linked to heart disease and strokes. It is also linked to low sperm rates and problems in pregnancy.

Many dental problems can be avoided by having a good oral hygiene routine, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis.

Find a local dentist

Brushing your teeth

You should brush your teeth twice a day. Here are some tips:

  • Use a small headed toothbrush with medium bristles.
  • Electric toothbrushes can be useful if you find tooth brushing difficult or if you have to care for someone else's mouth. The brushes should have a small round head.
  • Change your toothbrush every three months, or when the bristles begin to flatten or stick out.
  • Brush where the teeth and gums meet, the outside surfaces, the inside surfaces and the biting surfaces - top and bottom.
  • Do not rinse after brushing - and spit, don't rinse, to leave the fluoride in the mouth for longer.
  • Supervise brushing for young children until they can manage themselves, usually at about 7 or 8.


  • Choose family fluoride toothpaste (1450ppm) for the whole family - it helps to strengthen teeth.
  • Always use a pea size blob  - or, for young children and babies, just use a smear.
  • Keep toothpaste out of reach of small children.

Looking after your children's teeth

It is important to look after both yourself and your baby's dental health in the early months of your baby's life to help make sure you both have healthy mouths in the future

The nurseries and schools in Rochdale Heywood and Middleton work closely with Living Well Rochdale to deliver Tooth Time, a scheme designed to help pre-school children and their parents to realise the importance of looking after their teeth through regular tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste, restricting sugary foods and drinks to meal times only and having regular visits to the dentist. Look out for Tooth Time in your school or nursery.

Parents can make time for smiles and give their children’s teeth a good start by keeping to the following points:

  • Start brushing for your child with family fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears.
  • Do not put sweet drinks in your baby’s bottle.
  • Get your child to use a cup as soon as s/he can hold one.
  • Keep sweet food and drinks to meal times only. Sugar free snacks are best for in-between meals. Water and milk are the safest drinks for teeth.
  • Take your child to the dentist by his/her first birthday.

 Together we can give our children beautiful smiles if we make the time.