Before having an operation, it is important to reduce the risks that infections can cause during and after surgery.

We would suggest that if you have not visited your dentist in a while, you book an appointment before your operation to check you have no loose, broken or infected teeth and that your gums are healthy.

If you are not registered with a dentist please call Fife Dental Advice Line on - 01592 226555 and they will be able to assist you with dental registration.

How do my teeth affect my operation?

Problems with your teeth and gums can be a major source of bacteria and lead to infection. Bacteria can enter into the bloodstream or the lungs, causing complications during or after surgery, such as lung infections (pneumonia) or infection within the blood or joint replacements.

Although the chances of this happening are small, the complications could be serious.

For more information on dental hygiene and your operation, watch this video.

Brushing your teeth

Brushing your teeth may sound simple, but our local dental service team has a few tips for doing this effectively!

We recommend that you brush your teeth for two minutes last thing at night before you go to bed and on one other occasion every day, to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

You should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste containing 1450 parts per million (ppm) Fluoride. (You will find the fluoride content listed on the back of your toothpaste tube).

We would encourage you use a dry small headed, medium bristle toothbrush. If you use an electric brush, we would recommend you use one with an oscillating or rotating head.

DO NOT wet your toothbrush before brushing. After brushing, spit and DO NOT rinse with water or mouthwash. This gives your toothpaste time to work at protecting your teeth.

Make sure you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth, which should take about two minutes. Remember to brush the inside surfaces, outside surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Try and angle your toothbrush at the gum and use a small gentle, circular motion when brushing - there is no need to scrub.

Other Information

The Dental Helpline is a confidential advice service provided by the Oral Health Foundation. Qualified professionals are available to answer your questions and concerns from 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday on 01788 539780 or visit their website.

Brush DJ

Brush DJ is a fun and educational tool to help people improve their oral hygiene.

The app uses music from your mobile device and plays it for two minutes, the recommended brushing time. The app has short videos on how to brush your teeth.

You get a buzz every 30 seconds to remind you to change sides and a round of applause when you finish.

Brush DJ is available free to download via the App Store and Google Play.