03 Jun 4 simple dental health tips: the best dental care routine.
You’ve heard the advice 100 times before: brush twice a day and stay away from the candy and sugary drinks. But even following these instructions day to day you may still notice the odd issue pop up with your teeth. Why then has the classic advice failed you? It’s because there is actually a little more you need to be doing other than just brushing and avoiding sweets.
Tip #1: Stop rinsing your mouth out (seriously!)
Do you know the role saliva plays in your mouth? Saliva is actually very important in protecting your teeth from decay. And at night, your body slows its production of this important fluid. This means your teeth have less protection at night than during the day. This is why it’s so important to brush your teeth at night so your teeth are free of bacteria that could damage them through the night.
But after having your nightly brush, it’s very common for people to rinse their mouth out with water. Don’t do this! You are actually washing away the protection your toothpaste just provided (fluoride). Spitting instead of rinsing is very important, as this lets the toothpaste maximise its protection of your precious teeth while you sleep.
It’s also very important you don’t eat anything after brushing. As this will also clear the mouth of this protective layer and potentially leave harmful bacteria on the teeth through the night.
Tip #2: Check your technique.
You might think placing the brush in your mouth and moving it around a bit is enough to get a good brush. Think again! How you brush plays a very important role in exactly how clean your teeth are. The act of running the toothbrush bristles across the teeth detaches and clears any plaque (bacteria) that has built up since your last brush.
Leaving plaque on your teeth is a bad idea. It’s alive and growing, and once it reaches a certain stage of growth greater problems can start to arise. 12 hours is usually long enough for plaque to start doing some damage, which is why brushing twice a day as a general rule is a good idea.
The bacteria in your mouth feast on the sugars in the foods we eat and produce acids that damage our teeth.
With all that said, what exactly is the correct technique for brushing?
- Hold the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth, applying massage like pressure to the teeth.
- Brush outer, inner and top surfaces of all your teeth.
- Spit and don’t rinse!
Tip #3: Electric Upgrade
If you can afford to, we recommend getting an electric toothbrush with a rotating head. This type of toothbrushes have several advantages over manual brushing most notably the ability to get to hard to reach areas of the mouth.
It’s important to note, that you are able to get a “perfect” brush with a manual toothbrush. The reason we recommend an electric toothbrush is that achieving a good clean becomes a lot easier.
If you are concerned about only having access to a manual toothbrush and want to get the best brush make sure to follow the tips in step 2 and make sure to brush for around three minutes. This should ensure a good clean!
Tip #4: Cut your sugar intake.
We can all agree that sugar tastes great and makes a pleasurable snack. But the amount of sugar we consume today is far from ideal. For any adult the max sugar intake is around 30g of sugar daily.
Do you feel like that is a lot? You may be surprised….
A 330ml can of coke has 35g of sugar, already blowing us past our recommended max.
Frequency is also just as important as quantity when it comes to sugar. It is better to consume sugary snacks and drinks in one go instead of a number of times throughout the day. The more times you put sugar into your mouth the more food you are giving the bacteria and the more acidic your mouth will become. If you do this a number of times a day then your risk of developing decay is much higher compared to eating the same amount of sugar in one go.
The simplest way to cut back on sugar is remove additional sugar from coffees and teas and to limit sugary snacks like biscuits and chocolate. If you like sweet tea and coffee then try using Stevia or Xylitol. These natural sweeteners and don’t cause decay. As an added bonus they contain much fewer calories than sugar.
If you are able to put into practice all 4 of the above tips you can be confident in knowing your teeth are well cared for.
Want more tips or a to schedule an appointment, please click here.