It's Dental Health Week 2012!

Did you know that Dental Health Week 2012 is currently underway? The campaign kick-started on Monday August 6 and is running through until August 12.

If your teeth have been feeling a little neglected as of late, then now is a better time than ever to up the ante on your oral health routine.

Here are a few top tips courtesy of the Australian Dental Association (ADA).

Brush and floss

According to the experts, brushing and flossing are the basic essentials of following a good dental health regime.

Many people tend to neglect the flossing part, but this can put your teeth at risk as bacteria builds up in places that toothbrushes cannot reach.

Simply take a few extra minutes each day to floss - it may seem like a chore at the time, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Chew sugar-free gum

If you can't brush your teeth after eating, one of the best ways to keep your teeth clean and healthy between meals is to chew on sugar-free gum.

The ADA says that this helps to generate saliva, which is good for neutralising acids and keeping your mouth free of harmful debris.

If chewing gum is not your thing, then you may benefit from using Xylitol. This is a natural sweetener that actually helps prevent tooth decay! It is 'non-fermentable' which means that it cannot be converted to acids by oral bacteria.

Xylitol sweetener can be added to nearly everything instead of sugar, including hot drinks and baking.

Choose "smart snacks"

Reaching for chocolate or lollies in the afternoon is not only bad for your waistline, it can also be harmful for your teeth!

According to the ADA, the top cause of tooth decay is sugary fizzy and sports drinks, closely followed by sweets and sugary snacks and snacking between meals.

You don't have to cut out these foods completely, but it's wise to try and choose healthier alternatives.

If possible, you should always try and clean your teeth after eating, even if it is in the middle of the day.

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