Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

Regular dental check ups will help keep your mouth healthy and prevent cavities.

Regular dental check ups will help keep your mouth healthy and prevent cavities.
beginning of content

Dental care tips

2-minute read

Taking good care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis can help reduce dental problems you might have in the future.

Below are some useful dental and mouth care tips:

  • Maintain a good standard of oral hygiene. Brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste after every meal.
  • Thorough brushing with either a manual or electric toothbrush should take around 2 minutes.
  • Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 months.
  • Floss daily between your teeth to remove plaque.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Avoid too many sweet foods and sugary drinks. Where possible limit them to mealtimes.
  • Avoid drinking too much coffee or alcohol.
  • Have regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can advise you how often you need a check-up, as it depends on factors such as your age, general health and dental history.
  • Antibacterial mouthwashes (available from your pharmacist) may also help fight plaque and bacteria. Talk to your dentist first to see if mouthwash is right for you.
  • Chew sugar-free gum to encourage the flow of saliva in your mouth.
  • To keep your breath fresh, try to limit the amount of alcohol, garlic, onions, curries and strong-flavoured fish in your diet.
  • If you smoke, try to cut down or quit.

If you develop halitosis (bad breath) that doesn't go away with good oral hygiene, make an appointment with your doctor or dentist to get advice on managing the problem.

See more tips for proper brushing and flossing.

Get advice on dental care for children.

When to seek further help

See your dentist for advice if you have:

  • painful, swollen or bleeding gums
  • pus coming from your gums
  • a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
  • loose teeth (these can be caused by infected gums)
  • abscesses in your mouth — these can be under your teeth and will usually be very painful

If you develop any of the following symptoms with your mouth problems, contact your doctor as soon as possible:

  • any difficulty talking or swallowing
  • swollen lymph glands in your neck
  • a fever (a temperature over 38⁰C)

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: December 2019

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo