17 Aug 2017
A smile says a lot about someone, so look after yours! The tooth decay process can be a scary one if you don't know how to stop it, but luckily there are easy ways to prevent or reverse it. Read these 5 tips for a healthy mouth and a brilliant smile
We’ve been told this over and over, since we were kids, but how many of us actually do it? It’s easy to forget to brush your teeth after a big night out or when you’re simply too tired to walk to the bathroom, but brushing your teeth regularly is extremely important.
A toothbrush + toothpaste combo removes plaque from your teeth. Plaque is the soft, sticky, bacteria-laden film that builds up on your tooth around the gum line. When left unattended, plaque can cause bad breath, tooth decay and gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease which leads on to periodontal/gum disease and premature tooth loss.
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day will remove most plaque, leaving your mouth more healthy and smelling fresh. Use a soft bristled toothbrush and brush in a gentle, circular motion. Brushing too vigorously can wear away tooth structure. Not brushing/cleaning your teeth properly leads to gum inferction and tooth decay. Also, did you know toothbrushes come in different sizes? Pick a head size that’s right for your mouth to get a better clean smaller is generally better than bigger.
Floss is an interdental cleaner, designed to clean the hallways of your mouth ie . Brushing is fantastic, but without flossing, plaque and food particles stay lodged in between your teeth. Floss at least once a day to prevent tooth decay, cavities forming and gum infection/periodontal disease.
We all know sugar is the enemy, but is there anything we can eat to protect our teeth? The answer is yes. Whole grains, fruits during meal times, vegetables, lean sources of protein such as lean beef and legumes, and low fat and fat free dairy foods are all great for your teeth. Fresh, crunchy foods like celery are especially helpful, as they act in a way similar to a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria from your teeth.
It’s also important to eat meals rather than snacks. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal do less harm to your teeth, as more saliva is produced during longer eating sessions. Also the bacteria that live in your mouth eat the sugary foods you eat producing tooth dissolving acid in your for an hour - so sugary snacks frequently = disaster for your teeth. Saliva is the mouth’s first defence against decay, as it helps wash down food and lessens the effect of acids in foods. If you can’t resist snacking throughout the day, pick up teeth-friendly foods such as cellery or carrots.
Did you know that saliva is 99% water? Saliva gets in the way of kissing, but we shouldn’t hate on it too much. As mentioned above, saliva is a warrior for the mouth. Low levels of saliva can cause a dry mouth which leads to bad breath and tooth decay. Stay hydrated to keep saliva flowing!
You should book in two dentist appointments a year. Going in for a regular check-up can protect your future from teeth implants or partial dentures. It’s cheaper to prevent tooth decay than it is to fix it, so be proactive and take care of your oral health. To find out more about ways to protect your teeth, contact your local West Auckland dentist.