Our 5 Top Tips For Healthy Teeth
There are many recommendations out there in the World Wide Web to explain and demonstrate what is healthy for your teeth, gums and mouth and what isn’t. This article is to mention some of those. A heads up: They may come as a surprise:
5 top tips for healthy teeth:
- Clean between your teeth
“Flossing” the word patients dislike a lot and commonly do 1-2 weeks before their next dental appointment. Why do it? Our teeth have several surfaces, the ones that face the cheeks, the ones that face the tongue and the ones that meet the teeth of the opposing jaw and all those surface are reachable with a tooth brush. But what happens to the surfaces of the teeth of the same jaw that are touching adjacent teeth? Do we not reach them with a toothbrush? Yes, that is correct, we don’t. To clean between the teeth we need extra aids such as dental floss or interdental brushes. If we brush happily away with a toothbrush, looking and thinking to clean everything thoroughly but not actively between the teeth, we never remove more than 60% of bacteria! That means by not flossing we miss out on cleaning our teeth by almost 50%. So go to your drugstore or get out the dusty floss or interdental brushes your dentist has given you from the back of the shelf and start “flossing”.
- Drink smoothies with limitation to time or through a straw
“The green goodness”; as healthy as can be for everything!? Not quite. It is true that vegetables and fruits are very healthy for you and certainly much healthier and better for the teeth than chocolate, sweets or pure fruit juices; however, they also contain sugar and bacteria love sugar; in fact it’s their favourite food. The waste product they are producing is acid and that is what causes holes in teeth (tooth decay/dental caries). So what can we do to still get the goodness but cause the most minimal harm to our teeth? The essence is time. If you drink a smoothie over a long period of time, for example sipping on it over 30 minutes to an hour or more, there is a long period of feeding bacteria. The longer it lasts the greater the risk of damage. The same applies to sugar, sweets, chocolate and fruit juices of course. Our top tip: Drink your favourite, healthy smoothie within 10 minutes and/or through a straw. By using a straw less of the fluid will be touching the teeth when drinking, thus reducing the risk of cavities.
- Spit don’t rinse after brushing
Whaaaat? Why is that? That surely can’t be true!? Well, the toothpaste you’re using and which has been recommended by your dentist has most likely got fluoride in it. Fluoride is protecting your teeth against tooth decay and when you spit but don’t rinse it can work more effectively on your teeth in preventing holes.
- Brush your tongue
Yes, you heard correctly. Although we speak of brushing our teeth and we can do this very well and effectively using all the gadgets that are on offer (tooth brush, dental floss, interdental brushes, interspace brushes etc.), we forget about the tongue. But bacteria don’t just live on the teeth; they are everywhere in the oral cavity and they particularly love rough surfaces and crevices. So the tongue with its rough surface area is a perfect environment to live on. Our top tip: Get some plaque disclosing tablets to see for yourself and then get the tongue scraper or tooth brush to help you with the job.
- Mouthwash in moderation
It is a common belief that mouthwash is an essential part of cleaning your teeth/mouth. However, it is not as effective as you may think. Why is that? An analogy to start with: When algae is growing on a stone in a lake and water is flowing over it day in and day out. Is the algae removed from the stone by water flowing over it? No. The same is the fact in the case of bacteria. They stick to tooth and tissue surfaces and are disinterested in the mouthwash passing by. The only way to remove bacteria effectively is by mechanical removal with the different gadgets already mentioned above. So, mouthwash for a refreshing feeling and breath? Yes. But mouthwash to help clean the teeth from bacteria? No.