You rub your tongue on your front teeth. Smoother than porcelain.
You just hopped out of your dentist’s chair and your mouth has never felt this clean before.
There’s nothing like a professional teeth cleaning to get you feeling good, but unfortunately this glory will only last a few days. Soon enough, your sparkling teeth will be bombarded with different types of food and liquids and no matter how hard you try, plaque will slowly start to build up.
The fresh feeling you had out of the dentist will seem like a distant memory. Not only will your mouth not feel as clean, without adequate care you could expose yourself to a variety of problems such as cavities, tooth decay, and infections. Fortunately, this guide will help you keep your teeth healthy and feeling great in between visits.
Do Some Damage Control
The first step in keeping your teeth healthy is to avoid doing things that can cause damage to your teeth in the first place. While this step may seem obvious, most people easily forget what exactly causes damage to teeth. Here’s a list of the main culprits:
1. Ice. Yes, frozen water. There is zero sugar or other additives in ice, but chewing on ice or any other hard substance can expose your teeth to enamel damage and can cause other dental emergencies. Many of us chew ice out of habit or boredom while waiting on our food at restaurants, completely unaware that we could be doing significant damage to our chompers.
2. Sugar. You’ve likely been scolded as a child at some point to watch your consumption of sweets, but you likely assumed that candy and soda were the only villains. While candy and soda can be horrible for your mouth, sugar is becoming more and more prevalent in our everyday food choices. For example, a snack size portion of Greek yogurt usually has between 15 to 20 grams of sugar. A single tablespoon of tomato sauce has 3.7 grams. Sugary foods and drinks feed plaque bacteria with sugar to produce acids that launch war on your enamel.
3. Sticky foods. Although sticky foods like dried fruit make for a healthy snack, they tend to stay on and in between your teeth for longer periods of time. This gives bacteria more time to feed on the food. If you’re a frequent dried fruit and trail mix eater, be sure to take extra precautions like rinsing with water or brushing your teeth afterward.
4. Coffee and tea. These two beverages might be great for a caffeine boost, but these daily pick-me-ups are staining your teeth. Additionally, the caffeine can dry out your mouth. This is why consumption should be kept to a minimum to maintain optimal teeth health.
While it’s important to keep things that are bad for your teeth away, sometimes we just can’t help but to indulge in the occasional sweet or cup of coffee. This is why it’s important to instill great brushing and flossing habits, as well as getting regular professional cleanings to help carry some of the weight in creating excellent oral health.
A Good Brushing Technique Isn’t What You Think
The optimal brushing routine is a full two minutes, but people often neglect the technique necessary. If you often find yourself aggressively scrubbing away without a strategy for two minutes, you may actually be doing more harm than good.
There’s a certain art to brushing your teeth. Brush at a 45 degree angle in order to massage the gums (but be careful not to irritate them) in order to remove the plaque and bacteria that likes to hang out there. Be sure to brush in circular motions and distribute the two minutes evenly for every tooth (especially the fellas in the back), and rinse thoroughly with water.
While using a power toothbrush can help remove up to seven times more plaque on and between teeth than non-power toothbrushes, you can still accomplish equal or better results with a good brushing technique.
Flossing is Just as Important
Flossings seems to be a lost art among the majority of dental patients. By neglecting to floss regularly, you are letting chunks of food hang around and create a feast for all sorts of bacteria. This could lead to cavities and all sorts of unpleasantries. All of this could be avoided by flossing the areas between your teeth.
The classic way is to use dental floss is still an extremely effective way to prevent food from collecting in between your teeth. To take things up a notch, you could upgrade to electric flossers that will blast quick bursts of water or air to remove plaque and food particles from places that your toothbrush can’t reach.
The importance of flossing goes beyond just preventing plaque and tooth decay, it also helps to keep your gums healthy. Several studies have found that there is a strong correlation between gum disease and a variety of nasty health problems such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
Get a Professional Cleaning Every 6 Months
Regular dental care can greatly improve your oral health, not to mention keep your smile looking and feeling great. While the above tips are helpful to keep your mouth clean in between visits, it is always a good idea to have a professional on your oral team to snipe out tooth decay, periodontal disease, and any other potentially concerning issues.
Dental check-ups are also covered by most dental insurances. It also costs way less to periodically see a professional as a precautionary measure than getting extensive dental care that becomes a painful necessity if your oral health is neglected. For example, a root canal is a relatively unpleasant procedure that could cost hundreds of dollars, but it could be prevented with adequate dental care and regular dental visits.
Overall, there are few fresher and cleaner feelings than right after you get a professional cleaning done. They will not only save you time and money in the future, but they will help improve your oral appearance, dental functions, and overall oral health. Schedule a cleaning at Complete Smiles Bella Vista in Baulkham Hills, Sydney for a friendly and professional cleaning to keep your smile looking great.