Your dentist and dental hygienist want you to enjoy optimal oral health, so here are six things they recommend you could probably improve on:
Drink more water
In addition to the health benefits of drinking more water, it is also great for your teeth in an indirect way. Water is pH neutral and therefore, it does not erode your teeth and it is obviously sugar free, so it does not cause decay. Drinking water after you have had something sugary to eat or drink, will help wash away sugars from your mouth, reducing the damaging effects.
Flossing is a terrific way to remove plaque that has built up in between your teeth. Brushing well will remove most of the plaque in your mouth but it is impossible to remove the plaque between your teeth without using dental floss or interproximal brushes. You should aim to do this daily. Generally speaking, floss is best for the very small gaps in between your teeth and for larger gaps interproximal brushes are the best.
The interproximal brushes come in varied sizes and you will need specific sizes for specific gaps. Please ask our hygienist or dentists which one would work best for you. As a rule of thumb, you want to use the biggest brush that you can get in between your teeth without the metal touching the tooth.
Eating regular snacks/meals is not great for your teeth. Every time you eat, the bacteria in your mouth will utilise the sugars from your food to feed themselves and as a by-product they produce acid. This acid causes decay of your teeth and it generally takes about 25 minutes for your saliva to wash away their harmful acids. The more often you eat, the more frequent the acid attacks are and the more decay you will get. Therefore, avoid grazing and limit the number of times you eat per day.
Spit, don’t rinse
After you brush your teeth, it is best to spit the toothpaste out and NOT rinse afterwards. That is because the longer the toothpaste is on your teeth, the better!
Mouthwash is great but use it at a different time to brushing!
Mouthwash is great at preventing tooth decay but here is a little trick to make it work! If you use mouthwash and toothpaste at the same time, you only get one application of fluoride (which is the good stuff in toothpaste). If you use them at different times you get two applications of fluoride, so it is best to spread them out a little.
Beware of bleeding gums
If you notice bleeding gums, something is not right! Bleeding gums is a common sign that you have gum disease. If it is something you notice regularly, please call us to book an appointment. Also, beware that if you smoke, this reduces the blood supply to your teeth and you may not see signs of bleeding that is why smokers often find that when they stop smoking, their gums start to bleed!