The only way to have a great smile is with proper oral hygiene and good dietary habits. Here are some tips to help you keep or get that beautiful, bright smile.
It should normally take two minutes to brush each time. You should be holding the brush at a 45 degree angle while brushing lightly against your teeth and gums. Pressing down too hard could damage the outer shell of the teeth, also known as enamel. Use a soft toothbrush and brush twice a day especially after meals. Don’t neglect the back teeth and tongue.
It is recommended that you floss once a day. Food and plaque can be found between our teeth in those hard to reach spaces that our toothbrush just can’t quite get to. Flossing prevents that leftover food from staying embedded between the teeth and hardening into tartar or calculus. It doesn’t matter whether you floss before or after your meal, just do it.
Be careful of the sugars that are hidden in foods. Try to switch out sugary foods and drinks for fruits and water. It’s no secret that sugar is the cause for cavities. According to Colgate.com, each time you consume food and drinks that contain sugars or starches, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack your teeth for twenty minutes or more. That’s more of a reason to ease up on the sugar if you ask me.
Want pearly whites? Avoid any dark food or drink items which are prone to stain and darken your teeth. Excessive intake of dark food and drink items such as wines, coffee and tea can cause staining of teeth. Red wines produce tooth-discoloring pigments. Red and white wines both contain acid, which can erode enamel and can cause stains from other foods or drinks to penetrate more deeply. Another thing is there is dryness of the mouth due to tannins present in red wine. Smoking is the other main culprit.
Change your toothbrush every three months. Old bristles could be hard and can cause damage to teeth and gums.
Ever use your teeth to open that stubborn package? Well stop! You are at risk of chipping or breaking your teeth. No more opening bottles, chewing ice or anything of that nature. Your teeth should be just for chewing food. Avoid hard or frozen lollies or foods. Also, when participating in sports, wear a mouth guard to protect against trauma to your teeth.
Many people fail to see a dentist each year. Most dental diseases can be prevented with regular hygiene appointments and good hygiene practices at home. The earlier a problem is detected, the better. Some other reasons to visit your dentist include sensitive teeth to cold or hot temperatures, persistent bad breath, or spots or sores in your mouth that never seem to heal or go away. However, just going regularly is best because some symptoms aren’t as obvious. Dentist visits should occur at least twice a year.
Although not necessary, some mouthwashes can kill or reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Mouthwash also helps to freshen the breath.
Proper nutrition helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. The nutrients and minerals in your diet help can help you fight or resist infections. Eating more fibrous food like vegetables and fruit is helpful and is best to avoid sugars. When it comes to drinks, water is the best!
Drinking alcohol can lead to a reduction of saliva production by drying out the mouth. Saliva plays an important part in oral hygiene health as it is responsible for bathing the teeth and removing some plaque and bacteria that have accumulated on the surface of the teeth. The less plaque you have the less risk of any bacteria causing teeth decay. Just try to keep water on hand and rinse every so often.
Self-reliance is a good virtue, but not when it comes to our teeth. We might feel untouchable and cool, tearing packaging tapes without using scissors. Teeth are like glass; like our windshield, micro cracks will definitely happen. But unlike our windshields, we cannot see the little signs. The first symptom you will have, if you get unlucky, is pain. Some cases may only lead to wear and chips, but worst cases are split teeth that may lead eventually to tooth loss.
It is true that lemon-water is good for our gut; however, like any other health advises there are pros and cons. And, it is better to be in the middle.
If we do drink this, it is better that it is only once a day and we finish the glass of flavoured water all at once, instead of sip by sip throughout the day. You see, things other than water, can release acids. Sugars have acid by-products too. The environment in the mouth cannot be acidic for the whole day, or else it will make our teeth brittle, and hello cavities, white spots and worn teeth!
This is the same with chew-able acidic vitamins, if we can take it with water; the better it is for our teeth. We are only talking about the acidic vitamins. Please follow the instructions provided by your doctor when placing emergency medicine under the tongue or around the inside of the mouth.
Just imagine your teeth as a high-gloss kitchen tiles/counter. You don’t want to brush it with a steel-brush nor harmful gritty cleaners right? It’s the same thing with our teeth; we need to exercise our tender-loving-care, with gentle, longer strokes. When it is already sharp at the tips, or splayed, or it has been 3 months, time to change!
Letting your toothbrush dry is not allowing the bacteria to grow. Anything that is moist all the time, invites germs. You do not want to reintroduce these.
For bamboo toothbrushes, we do recommend wiping the handles with towels after every use to allow it to dry quicker and not letting it develop mold.
Remember, when I told you sugars turn to acid somehow when breaking, it is our saliva in the rescue. Let the ambulance of saliva save you, allow 30 minutes at least. However, if you had eaten something sticky at it rests from the chewing tables of your back teeth, oh, that is the gray side, brush now but gently, just take off those sticky ones.
Sports are way to be energetic and be healthy but to protect ourselves too with a mouth guard. There are two types, the custom-made and the over-the-counter ones. The custom-made fits better and are more protective. However, for growing individuals or patients undergoing braces or aligners, the over-the-counter ones are advisable as your teeth keep changing positions.
Oh, no, this is like saying that the front wheels of a car are the only ones we need to drive and forget about the back. Everything is created for a reason. The front is to show our nice smile, and the back to chew our food. If we chew using our front teeth, we may not have anything to show off when we smile after a period of time.
Visiting a dentist regularly is part of self-care believe it or not. It is not only about professional cleaning, but the examination is equally important. Checking the whole mouth for any signs of abnormalities is very essential as is screening for oral cancer, growths and others. A sleep apnea risk assessment is done too.
Blog by: Dr Beverly San Pablo