15 ways to keep your teeth healthy

Health tips | 24 Mar 2020

We all know that brushing twice a day and flossing regularly is necessary to keep your teeth healthy but there are other things you can do from home to help keep your teeth as clean, white and as healthy as possible. 

We spoke to our hygienist and these are all the tips and tricks we have found for you to keep your teeth healthy and white.

Brush before breakfast & rinse after

Brushing your teeth before breakfast protects your teeth before eating. Fluoride toothpaste protects your teeth the best! But if you have things like juice or cereal for breakfast, you risk rubbing the sugars and acids into the enamel on your teeth by brushing after you eat. For best results on your teeth, brush first and rinse after.

Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth

It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Yet, still many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But doing this is so important because brushing your teeth at night gets rid of the germs and plaque that have accumulated during the day.

Limit sugary foods

Sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which essentially erodes the enamel of your teeth. This is why it is so important to avoid foods with high sugar contents as much as you can. The acids that sugar converts into is what causes cavities. Even foods that may seem good for you such as fruits can contain high levels of sugar. It is important to maintain balance, therefore, you do not need to avoid these foods altogether, but it is important to be mindful of what you are consuming and how it can affect your oral health.

Switch from manual to electric

Electric brushes are more effective than manual ones because they are more effective when removing plaque. This keeps tooth decay and gum disease at bay.

This is due to the fact that a small head gets to all these hard to reach areas that the larger manual brush sometimes can’t get to. Additionally, it is less technique-sensitive than the manual brush and so easy for anyone to use.

It is very important that whether you currently use an electric toothbrush or a manual one, you should be following a good oral health routine.

Don’t neglect your tongue

Plaque can also build up on your tongue as well as your teeth. Not only can this lead to bad breath but it can also lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. There are toothbrushes with short bristles at the back to help brush your tongue. There are also specifically made tongue scrapers that are essentially toothbrushes for your tongue that you can buy at many supermarkets and online.

BRUSH PROPERLY

The way you brush is equally as important as how often you brush. In fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. There are many youtube tutorials and in depth descriptions of the most effective ways and techniques to brush your teeth.

Use a good fluoride toothpaste

There are many more important elements to look for than whitening power and flavours when it comes to picking a toothpaste. It doesn’t necessarily matter what version you choose, just make sure it contains fluoride.
This is because fluoride is a leading defence against tooth decay. It works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as providing a protective barrier for your teeth.

Spit, don’t rinse

Usually people gargle and rinse straight after they have finished brushing their teeth. This is nothing but a bad habit. Rinsing your mouth after brushing will wash off the fluoride from the toothpaste that is there to protect your teeth during the day. So, spit, rather than rinse after brushing to avoid washing away the benefits.

Do not smoke

Smoking can stain your teeth yellow and it also causes bad breath. Smoking can cause many health issues for you but when it comes to oral health, smoking increases your risk of gum disease.

Treat flossing as important as brushing, make sure to clean in between your teeth

Flossing is a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque and help lower inflammation in the area. Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.

Stay hydrated

Water continues to be the best drink for your health, definitely including your oral health. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to drink water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects or sticky and acidic foods and drinks in between brushes.

Make your mouthwash count

Mouthwash is essential to include in your routine as it reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, it also cleans hard-to-brush areas in the mouth and around the gums, and remineralizes the teeth.

Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables

Ready to eat foods are easy and convenient, but perhaps not so much when it comes to your teeth. Eating fresh, ripe and crunchy produce contains more healthy fibre and is also the best option for your teeth. Many parents think it’s better for their kids to cut everything into small pieces and mushing loads of processed foods, but that isn’t necessarily the best option. You need to avoid doing these things to get those little jaws working!

DON’T brush straight after sugary or acidic foods

If you have eaten or drank something acidic or sugary, wait half an hour before brushing your teeth. A lot of people think that brushing your teeth straight away will help decrease the effects on your teeth but brushing straight after damages your teeth more.

See your dentist at least twice a year to keep your teeth healthy

Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Even the most dutiful brushers need to see a dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups. 

Although you may be doing the most to keep your teeth clean and healthy your dentist will be able to remove calculus and look for cavities which you will not be able to do from home. They will also be able to spot any other potential issues that you may have and also offer treatment. 

Talk to your dentist or hygienist for more ways to keep your teeth healthy.