Oral health is an important component of your physical health and key to operational readiness.
Many adults have the habit of visiting a dentist only when a problem arises. Along with eating a well-balanced diet and practising effective dental hygiene, regular dental visits (at least annually) are crucial to maintaining good and effective oral health. This is even more important for NZDF Regular Force personnel, as it can affect deployability.
The Defence Dental Centre is your first point of contact for all your oral health needs.
Simple steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy
- Brush twice daily, especially once before bedtime. Make sure that all surfaces (outer, inner and chewing surface) of teeth and gum are cleaned for effective plaque removal.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and after brushing spit the toothpaste out. Avoid rinsing the paste from your mouth after brushing as this will wash the fluoride away from your teeth.
- Floss or use interdental brushes once daily to clean between your teeth.
- Avoid eating sugary, sticky and acidic foods and drinks in between meals
- Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups, so any problems with your teeth and gums can be spotted early and stopped.
There are many things a dentist can spot during a dental check-up such as weakening older fillings, early signs of gum (periodontal) disease, and many other oral problems that can affect your general health. Early detection will help treat the problem early on and stop it from becoming more severe. Dentists can also look for early signs of oral cancer and other diseases that could affect your general health.
A professional clean by your dentist or dental hygienist will remove calculus - the hardened, calcified plaque that is hard to remove from the teeth by brushing and flossing alone.
Regular dental visits are important to maintain good oral hygiene. Talk to your dentist about how often you should be going - this can depend on your age and the condition of your teeth.
Our military people see a dentist for a check-up every 12 months, however on some occasions this may be reduced to 6 months.
As with the general population, this will be decided by the dentist or hygienist at your local Defence Dental Centre depending on the need.
Information on this page has been sourced from the NZ Dental Council Healthy Smiles website.