A healthy mouth can add to your general health. If you have any pain or problems related to your teeth or dentures, or you notice an unexplained lump, red and white patches, or an ulcer which does not heal in your mouth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible.
Whether you have your own teeth or wear dentures, you should get regular check-ups with a dentist, at least every two years. NHS Direct can provide information about dentists in your area. Dental examinations are free in Wales if you are under 25 years of age or if you are 60 years of age or over.
If you fall into any of following categories you will not need to pay for your NHS dental treatment:
- you or your partner are receiving Income Support, Universal Credit, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income-related Employment & Support Allowance or Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- you are named on a Tax Credit NHS Exemption Certificate
- you are named on an NHS HC2 certificate for full help with health costs.
If you have your own natural teeth you should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to prevent decay. Fluoride mouthwash, interdental brushes (small brushes to clean in-between teeth) and floss can be used as well as your toothbrush.
Even if you don’t have any teeth, you should still brush your gums and tongue with a soft brush. If you wear dentures it is important that you clean them at least twice a day, and it’s best to remove them at night to give your mouth a chance to rest. You can protect your teeth by eating a healthy balanced diet, and by cutting down on sugary and acidic food and drink. You should only eat sugary and acidic foods and drinks at mealtimes, and no more than four times a day. ‘Sugar free’ or ‘low sugar’, drinks can still work to dissolve the outer surface of your teeth due to the acid content. Milk and water are the safest drinks for your teeth. You should also watch the number of alcoholic drinks you consume.
For more information:
Tel: 01788 539780 (dental helpline)