We all know that brushing our teeth is the best way to keep our teeth and gums healthy. However, if you need a sparkling smile, you have to do a lot more than this. This can include things like visiting the dentist and watching what you eat. Because the mouth is so important to our nutritional needs, we should form habits that will ensure our teeth remain healthy and our smiles are sparkling. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Protect Your Enamel
The enamel is the protective layer on our teeth and is extremely important in the prevention of cavities and other dental issues such as sensitivity. Certain foods and drinks can damage the enamel, leaving our teeth without this essential protective layer.
Foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar are the biggest culprits as they promote tooth decay. These include things like sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit juices and drinks, sticky sweets and sugary snacks.
When we eat these foods, the bacteria that occur naturally in our mouth use it to produce acid that damages the enamel. In addition to proper dental hygiene, it is always a good idea to lead the labels on food packaging to find out exactly how much sugar is in the foods we consume.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Using a toothbrush with soft bristles is very important because using a toothbrush with hard bristles increases the chances of damaging the gums which can lead to oral problems down the road. Also, learn how to brush correctly because brushing incorrectly can damage the gums and teeth, compromising our oral hygiene and health.
Watch Your Nutrition
As with any other part of the body, our teeth need nutrients to stay strong, cavity-free and white. Doctors recommend that we eat at least one serving from each of the five major foods groups per day. By doing so, the teeth get all the nutrients they need.
Calcium and phosphorus are especially important. Eating enough dairy products and leafy green vegetables can give us the amount of calcium we need, while eating proteins such as eggs helps fulfil our phosphorus needs. The reason both of these nutrients are so important is that they help protect the enamel.
Limit or Eliminate Snacks
Eating snacks is not only bad for your weight, it is also bad for your teeth. When you eat a meal, a lot of saliva is produced. This saliva helps wash away debris from your mouth. This reduces the amount of debris the bacteria has to create acid from, and helps prevent issues such as tooth decay and cavities. Additionally, we are a lot more likely to brush our teeth after a meal than we are after snacking.
When snacking, all the above do not happen and this can lead to problems with our teeth. If you need to eat a snack between meals, opt for some healthy options such as vegetables, fruits and cheese.
Quit Smoking or Using Tobacco
The most obvious effect of smoking or using tobacco is that tobacco stains the teeth, which can ruin your smile. Tobacco also affects other parts of the mouth according to various studies. For example, tobacco has been linked to gum disease which causes tooth loss and oral cancer if you are a heavy smoker or user of tobacco.
Additionally, tobacco can lengthen the healing time after oral surgery, tooth extraction or crown filling. If you smoke or use tobacco, you should find ways to quit if you want a better smile and oral health. A good place to start is talking to a dentist or doctor so they can give you proper advice and direct you to where you can find help quitting smoking or using tobacco.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Even if you are taking good care of your teeth, it is still important to schedule regular dentist visits. Getting regular cleaning is important to prevent the build-up of plaque which can help reduce the chances of issues such as tooth decay. Getting regular check-ups also gives the dentist a chance to spot any dental issues before they become a huge problem. Spotting these issues early and getting them fixed is cheaper than having to repair the damage once it is already done. Studies have also shown that dental problems can lead to other serious issues such as heart disease and some symptoms do show up in the mouth.
It is important to take any recommendations your dentist gives you, especially if they tell you that you need braces. Misaligned teeth are the cause of a lot of dental and confidence issues in a lot of people, but many people are wary of getting braces because they may be unsightly and embarrassing. That should not be the case because there are lots of discreet brace options and aligners from companies such as Straight My Teeth. Straight My Teeth sells clear aligners that help people like you straighten your teeth at home. And if you are worried about the cost of these aligners, you shouldn’t be, because they are 60-70% of the cost of other aligners, and Straight My Teeth also lets you pay in small instalments so you can start getting your teeth straightened right away.
Limit Foods that Stain the Teeth
Many people do not know that the foods they eat may be staining their teeth. Foods such as tea, coffee and red wine are among the most common drinks that do this. These drinks contain pigments known as chromogens which stick to the enamel and because it is white, the teeth end up having a tint of the colour of the beverages you enjoy most.
If you want a whiter, sparkling smile, you should limit your intake of these beverages. Another solution is to use fluoride toothpaste as it helps whiten teeth. You can also talk to your dentist about cleaning your teeth or even teeth whitening treatments to help undo the damage.
Drink a Lot of Water
Many of us already know the health benefits of drinking enough water, but many of us do not know that water, especially fluoridated water, is good for our oral health. Fluorine has been shown to help reduce instances of cavities. Fluorine also makes the teeth stronger and washes away any debris in the mouth that bacteria can use to create acids that negatively impact the teeth. All of these benefits are why you should carry a bottle of water and take a sip as often as you can.
Chew Sugar-free Gum
While the benefits of brushing your teeth after a meal have already been proven, we cannot get to a sink all the time after eating. In these cases, sugar-free gum can help. Sugar-free gum increases the amount of saliva in the mouth which removes food particles and debris from the mouth. Saliva also neutralises acid created by bacteria in the mouth and carries phosphorus and calcium whose benefits have been expounded above. Always check the packaging to ensure the gum you chew is sugar-free.
Every day, we rely on our teeth to do so much for us. From chewing food to giving us the confidence to talk in front of people, our teeth help us a lot. This is why it is so important to ensure we take care of our teeth and gums so they remain healthy and strong and we end up with a healthy, brighter and sparkling smile.