When it comes to oral health, following a simple set of dos and don’ts can make a really positive difference to your teeth and gums. The choices you make have a major bearing on your oral and general health, but the good news is that it’s actually really simple and easy to keep dental disease at a distance. Here are some dos and don’ts to follow for strong gums and healthy, shiny teeth:
Don’t brush your teeth straight after eating
Brushing your teeth straight after eating can actually do more harm than good, as the enamel softens when you eat and brushing at this time can cause damage. It’s best to wait around 60 minutes after eating so that the enamel has chance to re-harden.
Don’t skip dental check-ups
Many people dread going to the dentist, but it’s so important to keep on top of your dental check-ups. Even skipping one appointment can have a damaging effect on your oral health, as there is an increased risk of dental decay and gum disease.
Don’t brush too hard
It’s understandable to assume that brushing hard does more good than gentle brushing. However, brushing aggressively can actually be very harmful because it can damage the tooth enamel. It’s best to choose a brush with a small head and soft bristles and to brush gently, but thoroughly for at least 2 minutes, twice a day.
Do brush your teeth twice a day
Brushing your teeth is really important because it breaks up and removes food debris and polishes the teeth to give them a healthy, bright glow. It’s essential to brush twice a day to prevent bacteria and food debris from collecting in the mouth. If you don’t brush frequently enough, there is a high risk of plaque forming and this is a major risk factor for gum disease and decay.
Do use fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride is a mineral, which is found naturally in tap water and added to toothpaste to protect and strengthen the teeth. Fluoride helps to harden the enamel, protecting the teeth from bacteria and injury. Dentists and hygienists also provide fluoride varnish treatment, which involves applying a coating of fluoride onto the teeth. This is a very popular preventative treatment for children.
Flossing is a really useful cleaning tool, which removes traces of bacteria and left over food from parts of the mouth that are tricky to reach with a brush. Ideally, you should try to floss daily, but a few times a week is fine.
Do chew gum
Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and this helps to cleanse the mouth and neutralise acids after eating. Always make sure to choose sugar-free chewing gum when browsing the supermarket shelves.
Do see your dentist
Seeing your dentist is really important and you should try your best to commit to attending a check-up at least every 6 months. Check-ups are quick and painless and they could make the difference between healthy teeth and gums and dental pain. You should also see your dentist if you start to notice symptoms such as sensitivity, tooth pain and bleeding gums.
Sarah is a blogger, proofreader and copywriter. She writes for a number of clients on a range of topics including healthy living, beauty, food, dentistry, wellbeing and children’s health. Her most recent work focuses on braces such as Invisalign and Six Month Smiles.