We have two sets of teeth during our lifetime. Baby teeth come along when we are a few months old and when we are a bit older, they fall out and adult teeth push through. Once you have your adult teeth, you need to take care of them or they won’t last the distance. Ending up toothless is not uncommon in old age, but nobody wants their teeth to fall out when they are still relatively youthful, so it is sensible to look after them. Here is a quick guide to keeping your teeth healthy.

Have Regular Dental Checkups: Some people never bother going to visit the dentist on the basis that their teeth don’t cause them any problems. Well that’s great if you have perfect teeth, but are you really so sure that you won’t have issues in the future?

Dentists are trained to spot problems before they become a major issue. They can take x-rays to see if there are problems below the gum line or early signs of tooth decay. And if you do have any oral issues, they can advise you on how best to fix them.

Brush Teeth Twice Daily: Teeth should be brushed morning and night, preferably before bedtime. Always use a good quality toothpaste and brush teeth for around two minutes at a time. Electric toothbrushes are best, especially if don’t have straight teeth. Children should start brushing their teeth as soon as the first milk teeth come through. Buy a child-friendly toothbrush and use a pea-sized bit of children’s toothpaste. It is a good idea to supervise younger children when they are brushing their teeth – at least until they get the hang of it.

Avoid Sugary Drinks and Snacks: Sugary drinks and snacks are murder on your teeth. Pop, candy and sugary cakes and biscuits cause mouth plaque to build up and cavities to form. To a certain extent, you can minimize the risk with good oral healthcare, but really these things should be eaten and drunk in moderation, as it is better for your health – and waistline!

Protect Your Teeth When Playing Sports: Never play contact sports such as football or boxing without a mouth guard. It only takes a second for a hard impact to knock your teeth out, so don’t take that risk.

Quit Smoking and Drinking Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol raise your risk of oral cancers, such as mouth, tongue and throat cancer. Tobacco smoke contains around 70 carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, arsenic and lead. Excessive alcohol consumption is also linked with cancers of the oral cavity. Quitting tobacco and minimizing alcohol consumption is the best policy all round. If you have any suspicious lumps, bumps or sores that don’t clear up within a week or so, make an appointment to see your dentist right away.

For major dental problems, you might end up needing oral surgery Manhattan, but as long as you follow the above tips, you should easily be able to avoid difficult and expensive dental treatment.