My Missing Teeth Preventative care

Preventative care

It is important that you look after your teeth. The dental team can help make sure your teeth stay healthy.

Click on the options below to find out moreThis information comes from UK government advice. It is based on research and expert opinion. It is supported by clinical experience of dentists. For more information, click here..

My Missing Teeth Preventative care
Oral hygiene

It is important that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. This should be last thing at night before you go to bed and at one other time. Most people do this in the morning. A toothbrush with a small head and medium bristles is recommended.

Remember to spit out toothpaste but do not rinse your mouth with water. This means the toothpaste can soak into your teeth to make them stronger.

You can use disclosing tablets to help you see where you need to brush. These are chewable tablets that have vegetable dye in them. They stain the plaque a bright colour so you can see it. Disclosing tablets can be bought from most pharmacies and supermarkets.


Some people like to use a mouthwash. Mouthwash should only be used by people aged 7 years and older. Mouthwash should be in addition to brushing, not instead of brushing.

Fluoride mouthwash with 0.05% fluoride used once a day is recommended. For maximum benefit, mouthwash should be used at a different time to brushing.

Children 0-3 years old should use a smear of toothpaste with more than 1000ppm fluoride. Parents should help with tooth brushing.

Children 3-6 years old should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with more than 1000ppm fluoride. Parents should help with tooth brushing.

Children 7 years+ should use toothpaste with 1350-1500ppm fluoride

My Missing Teeth Preventative care

Reducing the number and amount of sugary snacks and drinks you have will help prevent decay in your teeth.

Try to allow your teeth a “golden hour” before bed where you have nothing to eat or drink except of water.

Sugary food and drinks include:

Sweets, chocolate, cakes, buns, pastries, fruit pies
Puddings, ice-cream, sorbets
Sugary cereals and cereal bars
Crisps and sauces with a sweet flavour, such as ketchup
Jams, preserves, honey, syrup
Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots
Fizzy drinks, milkshake, fruit juice, sports drinks

There is more information about a healthy and balanced diet in the NHS Eatwell guide.

My Missing Teeth Preventative care
Seeing a dentist regularly

All children should have their first check-up by the age of one. Find out more here.

It is important to see your dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist can check your teeth are growing normally and spot any problems. Your dentist will be able to tell you how often they need to see you. Usually this is every 3-6 months.

Your dentist can help keep your teeth healthy by painting a fluoride varnish onto your teeth, or placing a plastic coating (fissure sealants) on back teeth to protect the tooth surface.

Ask your dentist for more information about this.

My Missing Teeth Preventative care
Wearing a mouthguard for sport

If you play any sports where you might get bumped in the mouth it is important you wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth.

This is extra important if you already have naturally missing teeth.

If your teeth are bumped it is important you see a dentist immediately. They will give you advice to help your teeth recover. In some cases teeth that have been bumped may need dental treatment, or in severe cases, teeth might need to be removed.

Your dentist can tell you more about mouthguards.