A better Medway

Visit the dentist

You can maintain good oral health by visiting the dentist.

It’s free for children aged under 18, or for children in full time education aged under 19.

Pregnant women and mothers with a child 12 months or younger receive free NHS dental treatment. 

If you have not had a dental check in the last 6 months, make an appointment with your local practice. Go to the dentist regularly or as often as your dentist advises.

Top tips for looking after your teeth:

  • have less food and drinks with added sugar, and avoid sugary food and drink between meals and before bed. Learn more about lowering your sugar intake and sugar swaps
  • clean your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, once before bed and usually once in the morning. Help children under 8 brush their teeth
  • always spit out your toothpaste. Do not rinse after brushing as this washes away the fluoride you need to help protect your teeth
  • use the right type of toothbrush. The best type of toothbrush is one with a small head and medium-textured bristles and can be manual or electric
  • replace your toothbrush or brush head at least every 3 months or when the bristles are worn or frayed. Damaged bristles will not keep your teeth and gums fully clean
  • clean between your teeth using interdental brushes or dental floss if you're an adult.

Mouth cancer: early detection saves lives

Mouth cancer kills more people each year than cervical and testicular cancer combined. Being alert to the signs of mouth cancer is just as important. 

Treating mouth cancer successfully depends on early diagnosis.  

If mouth cancer is caught early, the chances of a full recovery are 9 out of 10.

Check now for the following symptoms: 

  • mouth ulcers which do not heal in 3 weeks
  • red and white patches in the mouth or on the tongue
  • unusual lumps or swellings anywhere in the mouth or head and neck area
  • changes in your voice, such as a husky voice or difficulties swallowing which persists for more than 6 weeks

You can check for these symptoms at home. Feel your neck and face for lumps and swellings.

If you notice anything that you’re concerned about, book an appointment with your dentist or GP.

Local help and advice

If you do not have a regular dentist, you can find a dentist on the NHS website. You can phone them for advice or a referral.

Visit the Medway Community Healthcare website for information about accessing emergency dental care.

For healthy eating and recipe ideas follow our Tri for You Facebook page

National help and advice

You can look at NHS advice on how to take care of your children's teeth.

For general oral health advice visit the Oral Health Foundation’s website.

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