Ensuring that you visit a dental clinic every so often is vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, as it allows your dentist to check for existing problems, or pre-empt problems that may arise in the future such as gum disease. Visiting whenever you have a problem is always advised, but if you maintain a high level of oral health then a trip every 18 months to two years is perfectly fine. However, your dentist will usually advise you on your next appointment. Most people are aware that brushing twice a day, both in the morning and in the evening is the best way to keep your mouth clean, unfortunately more than 50% of Australian adults still fail to visit their dentist frequently, which is why tooth decay, caused by a build up of plaque and tartar is one of the biggest health problems in the country.
Plaque is a bacterium that covers the teeth in a slimy film. This builds up throughout the course of the day, and if not brushed away with regular brushing and mouthwash, can calcify and turn into Tartar. Tartar is a hard yellow substance that can lead to staining of the teeth, bad breath and gum disease. Unlike plaque, it's hard to remove which is why dentists usually advise a tooth polish every so often. This allows them to use a mildly abrasive tool, to essentially sand the tartar off.
If you'd like to try some different approaches to brushing your teeth and avoid unnessasary colourings and chemicals, you can always opt to make your own toothpaste and mouthwash. Coconut oil with its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbal properties makes the perfect base. In fact, you can actually use coconut oil as a mouthwash using a technique called oil pulling. This is where you rinse the mouth with coconut oil from anywhere between 10–20 minutes, drawing it through the teeth to help kill off bacteria and infections.
If, however, you'd like to make toothpaste, then combine baking soda (which helps to neutralise tooth corrosive acid) with coconut oil to make a thick paste. This can be brushed on to the teeth as normal, with the properties of the oil being complimented by the mild abrasiveness of the baking soda, helping to whiten your teeth at the same time. You can even add some essential oils to taste to further boost the medicinal properties of the toothpaste, for example, spearmint oil is an antiseptic and can help cuts on the lips, gums and cheeks heal much faster.
For more information, talk to a dentist.