We need to look after our teeth if we are to maintain both our dental health and our general health. A few good habits can make all the difference. A few good dental habits can mean much healthier teeth and gums.
– Brushing twice daily, but wait 30 minutes after eating. Eating or drinking will temporarily soften the enamel on our teeth. If we brush while this enamel is soft we quickly wear it away. Drink water after eating, and wait 30 minutes before brushing.
-Flossing – 30% of the total tooth surface is between the teeth. We cannot leave this uncleaned. Floss will remove plaque from between teeth along with any food debris. This is as important for teeth as brushing, and perhaps even more important for prevent gum disease.
– Drink water. This has been a health trend over the past generation. But it caught on because it proved very effective at so many ways. Amid other health benefits it keeps teeth clean, and reduces bad breath. Without water the mouth becomes dry, and this increases the bad bacteria that lead to decay.
– Mouthwash – Use this a few times per day, in addition to brushing, to reduce the bad bacteria in the mouth. It is not too difficult to keep mouthwash in several locations (in the office desk, in the car, in our briefcase) so it is always at hand.
– Eat crunchy food, like salads and apples. These clean teeth, and tend to be generally healthy.
– Avoid soda and junk food. These are harsh on teeth, and have few if any redeeming qualities. Additionally, cola drinks can stain teeth. All soft drink is acidic, even diet version which are at least lower in sugar.
– Scrape or brush your tongue. Bacteria and plaque can accumulate on the tongue surface. This leads to bad breath.
– Use toothpaste with fluoride . This hardens tooth enamel, and fights bad bacteria. As long as the fluoride is not swallowed there will be no issues.
– Salt water rinse. This fights gum infections, killing some bacteria, as well as viral and fungal problems. It is also effective if we have ulcers or other mouth sores. Do this before brushing. You can use salt rinses several times per day, but make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent a dry mouth.
Good habits and regular twice per year visits to the dentist will help maintain the best dental health.