Ask the Dentist: Keeping your teeth in good order in 2019 doesn't have to cost a lot

Lucy Stock, dentist at Gentle Dental Care, Belfast, offers advice on keeping your teeth healthy while keeping to a budget

Bulk buying oral hygiene products online can save money and ensure you don't run out

IF YOU have splashed the cash over Christmas, you may be wanting to reel things in this coming year. Here are some top tips to help you keep your teeth tip top in as cheap a way as possible.

Preventing problems arising in your mouth is the best way to avoid needing dental treatment. Simply switching from fizzy drinks to good old plain, free water will save the coppers and stop the onslaught of the sugary tide dissolving and decaying our teeth. If you are a hardcore fizzy drink drinker then give yourself two weeks for the withdrawal symptoms to disappear completely and your body to rebalance itself.

Get organised – internet bulk buying your toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental aids to clean between your teeth can give you substantial savings in the long run and mean that you are never caught short.

If you want to whiten your teeth and don't want to spend too much then try the tooth whitening strips. They work, fit anybody and are a relatively cheap, safe way to achieve a whiter smile. Avoid bleaching kits sold over the internet – some of the kits don't even specify what the gels are made from – if they have to hide it, beware.

The average price of a pack of 20 cigarettes is £10.40 so if you're on a pack a day then you're spending about £3,796 a year – much nicer to go on holiday. So, ditch the cigarettes and stop any gum disease worsening.

Smokers are twice as likely to have gum disease so quitting massively reduces the chance of your teeth falling out. Within two weeks of stopping, your blood vessels will have reformed in your jaws, which helps keep your bone around your teeth, which holds them in place. Try working out how much you personally spend on cigarettes and writing the figure on your fridge. Keep your motivation up to stay stopped.

Invest in a waterjet which is like a power hose for your mouth. It blasts water around your teeth, removing food debris and disturbing the bacteria so that they can't organise themselves to eat your teeth and jaw bones. Great for teens and adults. Can be messy so you could try using it in the bath or shower.

The cleaner your teeth, the fewer problems people have and the less dentistry that's needed.

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