Taking care of your teeth is one of the best investments you can make. After all, they’ve got to last you a lifetime and good dental work costs a bomb. However, many people take dental care too lightly. Then there are those who take it so seriously that they may actually be doing more damage to their teeth with excessive brushing at the wrong times. Here are some simple tips to keeping your teeth tiptop.
- Leaving brushing for before meals
Many people like to brush their teeth right after a meal, but this could do more harm than good. Acids in food can soften the enamel on teeth, so brushing right away can remove the enamel over time. You should wait at least an hour after you eat before you use your toothbrush in order let the enamel harden. Instead, drink some water or chew on sugar-free gum to keep your mouth fresh.
- Learn to brush right
You need to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice daily, working in a methodically manner to ensure you clean every tooth surface reachable. Brush thoroughly but not too hard – you can damage your teeth and gums if you go overboard on the pressure. Teach your kids how to brush too. A bit of dental health education early on can go a long way.
- Don’t rinse after brushing
It’s a hard habit to break but rinsing out your mouth after a brushing is not recommended. Instead, just spit out the excess toothpaste from your mouth and leave what’s remaining so that the residual fluoride can linger and do its job.
- Avoid smoking
On top of everything else, smoking can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth but can harm your whole body. This is because a huge number of bacteria live in our mouths and tooth and gum infections can cause inflammation that spreads through the system. This means that your heart, brain and blood vessels are put at risk.
- Stick to mealtimes
Eating too often does not allow the acids in your mouth to disperse, putting your teeth at risk of more damage. Constant snacking therefore ups your likelihood of developing tooth decay and gum disease. This applies to drinking beverages as well.
- Banish bad breath
Bacteria is the culprit for bad breath (halitosis) when your mouth goes dry. One way to combat this is to drink plenty of water and eat vegetables with high water content such as cucumber and carrots.
- Get checked regularly
You may avoid it for a host of reasons but you need to get a dental check-up at least twice a year, and more often if you are a smoker, diabetic or are prone to dental ailments such as cavities, gum disease and plaque buildup.
- Kick your sugar habit
Sugar is your teeth’s number one enemy, so it’s best to avoid it as much as possible. Reach for whole fruits instead of juices and swap sugary snacks for healthy nuts, vegetables or seeds. A high-protein snack for teens has other benefits as well.
- Saving a tooth
If you are unfortunate enough to get a tooth knocked out by accident, it may be possible to save it. Find it and handle it only by the crown and not the root. If it is dirt, gently rinse it in pure water or milk, but don’t leave it in water or wrap it up in cloth or tissue. Instead, put it back in the toot socket the best you can, and go right away to a dentist. Another option is to keep the tooth submerged the tooth in milk till you reach the dentist.
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