Who doesn’t want a sparkling white smile, fresh breath and healthy pink gums. Making sure your mouth stays healthy is one of the most important reasons for regular visits to the dentist. But, in between visits, it’s up to you to maintain a healthy mouth.
Here is a list of things to help improve your oral health and get all the benefits that come with it!
DO use the right toothbrush. That means a soft-bristled multi-tufted toothbrush with a head that’s small enough to get comfortably around your entire mouth. And don’t forget to change your brush every 3-4 months.
DON’T brush too hard. Brushing too hard can cause gum recession and damage the root surfaces of your teeth by abrading them. Exposed roots may be more sensitive and are at greater risk for decay.
DO floss at least once a day. Flossing is the best way to remove plaque in places where your toothbrush just can’t reach. Plaque that isn’t removed leads to tooth decay and gum disease, so don’t neglect this important part of your oral hygiene routine. You’re only half done if you just brush!
DON’T snack on sugary foods. According to the National Institute of Health, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in both children and adults – even though it is almost entirely preventable.
DO use fluoride toothpaste. Research has consistently shown that fluoride is not only effective at preventing cavities, it also helps to repair tooth enamel.
DON’T brush immediately after drinking acidic beverages (soda, sports drinks, juices). Acids “soften” the hard enamel covering your teeth. Acids in sodas, juices and sports drinks dissolve calcium out of the surface enamel by a process called de-mineralization. However, saliva – which is rich in minerals – has a natural neutralizing ability to re-mineralize enamel surfaces affected by acid. But this takes 30-60 minutes. That softened surface layer can easily be removed with a toothbrush. Just like brushing too hard, brushing right after you consume acidic food or drink can have negative consequences for your teeth leading to significant enamel erosion. Its best to wait one hour to allow your saliva enough time to neutralize the acidic attack.
DO drink enough water. Drinking plenty of water and keeping well hydrated has a number of health benefits for your entire body. In your mouth, it keeps sensitive tissue moist and promotes the healthful action of saliva. As mentioned above, saliva buffers acids, but it also aids in digestion, helps the mouth fight germs and even has a role in protecting teeth from decay.