There’s much more to a healthy mouth than brushing, rinsing and flossing.
A healthy mouth takes more than squeezing paste out of a tube. Here’s how to work towards maintaining a healthy mouth and breath too.
Visit the dentist:
This is a must and the start. If you’re prone to ditching the dentist, you’re among the roughly 50% of adults who don’t see a dentist yearly for reasons like dental phobia, finances, or just plain neglect.
Spending some quality time with your dentist at least twice a year, as recommended by dentists, will help you curb problems such as decay, gum disease, bad breath, decayed tooth or even cancer. The dentist is your friend. Take conscious efforts to make it a date with your dentist.
Use the right toothbrush:
It is always recommended to get a brush with soft bristles. Replace when you notice that the bristles are bent. Note that you don’t have to wait for the bristles to bend. Even a straight bristle tip can become blunted instead of rounded and cause injury to the teeth or gums. Dentists recommend a change of toothbrush three or four times a year.
Practice proper brushing technique:
It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day yet if you’re like most people who don’t give much thought to how to do it. It’s time to turn a new leaf.
Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed toward the gum line, and use gentle, short, circular motions. You can stroke each tooth 10 to 15 times, but don’t overdo it. Aggressive brushing can damage your teeth and erode the gum line.
Flossing simply fosters healthier teeth and gums. Yet like brushing, there’s a right and wrong way because flaws in your flossing can cause friction and damage the gum line. Wrap a line of floss around your index fingers, keeping about two inches between your fingers to work with. Unroll a fresh section of floss for each tooth gap and keep the floss tight against the tooth to break up plaque while leaving your gums in good shape.
Help Children start early:
Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears which is usually around six months. It’s a shame that despite great strides in decay prevention, research shows that one in four young children develops signs of tooth decay before they start school while half of all children between the ages of 12 and 15 have already developed cavities.
Take the children to see a dentist by the time they are 1, and until they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes laces they’ll need help cleaning their teeth. Dentists recommend that kids with tender teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. Before letting them try brushing for themselves with supervision.
Reduce, if possible stop the soda:
Fizzy is fun but also part of the reason that soda is so bad for your teeth. Two ingredients — phosphoric acid and citric acid — give soda its “bite” yet eats away at the surface of your enamel. Although the occasional soda won’t hurt, a can or more a day causes your enamel to be softer and more susceptible to cavities. You can switch to water instead and add flavour with sliced citrus or crushed berries or mint leaves as your taste dictates.
Let your diet be teeth-friendly:
For most people, the primary reason for eating something apart from fueling the body is because it tastes good. But have you ever considered what these different foods or snacks do to our teeth?
The nuts, fruits, chicken and vegetables, even cheese are teeth friendly. Here’s something extra about cheese that you need to know – it causes your salivary gland to produce more saliva, which neutralizes the acid.
Cut down on Sugar:
Sugar is a major culprit in tooth decay as it fuels bacteria and acidity in the mouth, causing plaque to form and eat away at the enamel and gums. Wondering why your pretty white teeth discolour? They are hit with up to 20 minutes of acid production for every sugar fest you indulge in, from sweetened coffee in the morning to ice cream at noon. To avoid being amongest those who suffer from tooth decay every time they look in the mirror, try to cut down on sugary treats.
The nicotine and tar in cigarettes do not only turn your teeth to an unsightly shade of yellow, but they also eat away at your gums. Smoking creates a ripe environment for bacteria and plaque to live on your teeth and along the gum line. This harms tissue, degrades the bone that supports teeth, and, eventually, increases your risk of tooth loss. Research also shows something worse – tobacco chemicals can lead to oral cancer.
Drink plenty of water:
You cannot overdrink water. Water keeps your mouth fresh. It goes beyond the fact that your body needs to be hydrated. It helps keep your entire mouth fresh.
This article is not an alternative to medication. Ensure you see your dentist for the best advice tailored for your dental needs.