As you well know, every month is an ‘oral health month’ here at 543, where we go out of our way to teach families about good oral hygiene. But once a year we make a special point of focussing on the importance of oral health and reminding our patients just how easy it is to ensure the whole family practices good oral hygiene – all year long.

In addition to regular dental checks and a robust home routine of brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, we’ve identified the top three ways of improving your (and your family’s) oral health.

1. Reduce sugar
When it comes to your family’s teeth, sugar is public enemy #1 – and it’s time to start treating it that way. Cutting down on the amount of sugar in your family’s diet may sound like a daunting task, but little changes can make a big difference. Fresh fruit is a wonderful choice instead of fruit drinks or sugary treats. Drink lots of water and choose non-sugary snacks, such as hard cheese or plain yogurt, to help stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce your family’s sugar cravings. Read labels, especially on prepared foods, and avoid those that have sugar as an added ingredient. Use a smart tool, such as the NHS’s free Change4Life app, to help make sugar swaps easy and fun.

2. Stop smoking
We recently wrote a blog post all about the ways smoking negatively impacts your oral health – from aesthetic concerns, such as stained teeth and bad breath, to far more serious risks, such as gum disease and obviously mouth cancer. We know quitting is easier said than done and we’re not suggesting you go it alone. We’re here to help, with support, advice and encouragement, and so is the NHS, who will help you craft your own bespoke plan. The good news is that your oral health will begin improving from your very first smoke-free day!

3. Support fluoridation
Adding fluoride to drinking water is so well documented as a way to decrease incidents of tooth decay that it has been adopted in most places in the Western world. Except Hull. Is it just a coincidence, then, that Hull has one of the highest rates of childhood tooth decay in Britain? Of course not. That’s why we at 543 fully support the One Part Per Million campaign to fluoridate our drinking water. It’s safe and effective and our children deserve it. Please follow @OPPMHull on Twitter and be sure to share their posts with your friends and family.

None of this is breaking news or even really surprising, is it? But here at 543 we find that everyone needs a reminder every now and then – and it’s our job to provide it. It’s also our job (and our mission) to provide you and your family with the guidance and support to make the changes that will ensure your dental health for life. So why not start by booking in today for your next check-up or hygienist visit? Let us help you give your oral health kick a kickstart!