The health of your teeth depends on choices you make every day. Unhealthy teeth can result in bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, and even gum disease, which can affect your whole body. The following methods have been proven to promote strong, sparkling teeth.
1. Practice moderation with acidic foods and drinks.
Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, wheat products, eggs, and processed foods share a common trait–they all have low pH levels, making them acidic substances. Over time, these acidic foods and drinks break down tooth enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to bacteria that causes cavities and tooth decay.
Ideally, one’s daily diet should be just 20% acidic. The rest should be alkaline foods with high pH levels, like fresh fruits, beans, and vegetables.
2. Floss every day.
When you clean in between your teeth with dental floss, you’re not just dislodging stray bits of food. You’re preventing a plaque buildup that could cause cavities and even gum disease if left untreated.
Everyone should floss at least once a day; people with powerchain braces should slide the floss under the wire and move it up and down between the teeth.
3. Use fluoride for protection.
Fluoride is important because it restores the minerals in your teeth that were destroyed by acids. When consumed regularly, it strengthens tooth enamel, protecting teeth from further decay.
Today, our public water supplies are enriched with fluoride. But you can also use toothpaste and mouthwash that contains fluoride, and you can even take a supplement in tablet or lozenge form.
4. Brush your teeth the right way.
Most people have comfortably incorporated tooth-brushing into their daily routines. Brushing your teeth is crucial–it stops plaque from hardening into tartar, and it keeps your gums healthy. But many people do it thoughtlessly.
You should spend around 3 minutes brushing your teeth. Focus on each section of your mouth for at least 30 seconds. Because old germs can lurk in the bristles, you should get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months.
5. Don’t grate your teeth against each other.
Bruxism is a technical word for a common habit: grinding or clenching your teeth together, often as a response to stress. This grating wears down the enamel on the teeth. When the enamel is gone, the sensitive dentin beneath is susceptible to cavities.
Teeth grinding can also cause toothaches and tooth sensitivity. You even risk chipping or breaking your teeth in the process.
6. Avoid smoking.
Smoking has many adverse effects on the body, and teeth are no exception. Besides giving you bad breath and tooth discoloration, smoking decreases the mouth’s ability to fight bacteria.
Over time, bacteria will build up on a smoker’s teeth and gums. It deteriorates the bone and tissue that hold the teeth in place, making them fall out. Smoking counteracts the positive effects of tooth-brushing, flossing, and fluoride.
7. Try xylitol gum.
Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol with an interesting trick for staving off cavities. It tricks mouth bacteria into eating it, and then, unable to break the substance down, the bacteria die.
In order for xylitol to be effective, you must chew xylitol gum 3-5 times a day. If you’re getting xylitol from mints or regular chewing gum, it must be listed as the first ingredient. Fortunately, chewing gum also helps your mouth produce saliva, another antibacterial agent.
8. Drink plenty of water.
Saliva is the body’s first line of defense against tooth decay, and it’s 95% water. Drinking water increases saliva production while washing chunks of food off of your teeth.
The proteins and minerals in water neutralize the acids that cause cavities. When you drink a lot of water, you can make up for some of the negative effects of sugary caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
9. Treat your teeth with turmeric.
The yellow spice is common in Indian food, but it can contribute to oral hygiene, which is the key to maintaining healthy teeth. Curcumin, the natural chemical that gives turmeric its bright color, also boasts anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Thanks to curcumin, turmeric fights swelling and calms toothaches. You can brush your teeth with an even mixture of turmeric and water to get the benefits.
10. See a dentist regularly.
Everyone’s teeth are different, so it is important to stay in contact with a professional who can recommend the best toothbrushes, mouthwashes, and tooth cleaning methods for you.
Your dentist can even provide you with a daily brushing and flossing plan that suits your needs.
Teeth need just as much care as every other body part. Most people brush their teeth twice a day. But a quick scrub is not always enough when it comes to tooth hygiene. These scientifically sound tips ensure that your smile stays bright, and you don’t suffer pain and tooth decay.