Healthy Choices

Certain lifestyle decisions such as whether you smoke, what type of foods you eat and drink and how much alcohol you drink can all have an effect on your teeth and mouth.

In order to keep your teeth, gums, mouth and tongue healthy you should:

  • Not smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Keep alcohol to recommended levels.
  • Keep all foods and drinks containing sugar to mealtimes.
  • Drink only milk and water between meals.
  • Snack on fruit and/or vegetables between meals.


The Smile 4 Life programme encourages people to reduce the frequency and amount of sugar-sweetened foods people eat in order to keep their teeth healthy.

  • Keep all foods containing sugar to mealtimes.
  • Snack on Fruit and/or Vegetables between meals if hungry.


In order to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy, you should avoid drinking drinks which contain sugar other then at meal times.

The only safe drinks for your teeth between meals are milk and water.


In order to stay healthy and protect your body including your mouth from infection and more serious diseases such as cancer, you should avoid smoking and using tobacco related products.

Smoking can cause many conditions in the mouth but the most common are:

  • Stained teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Gum disease
  • and the most serious conditions are mouth and throat cancer

The NHS provides free health and support to help people quit smoking. Visit the Smoke Free Website, your local stop smoking service website or speak to your dental team or Children and Family Centre.


In order to keep your mouth, teeth, gums and tongue healthy, you should try and make sure that you dont drink more alcohol then the recommended levels.


Recommended Drinking Levels

Regularly drinking above recommended daily limits risks damaging your health as well as your teeth.

Theres no guranteed safe level of drinking, but if you drink below recommended daily limits, the risk of harming your health are reduced.

The Department of Health recommends that you do not exceed:

  • For Men - 3 to 4 units of alcohol a day, not exceeding 21 units a week
  • For women - 2 to 3 units of alcohol a day, not exceeding 14 units a week

One unit of alcohol is:

  • Approximately a half pint of normal strength beer
  • One small glass of wine
  • One small measure of spirits


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