During the day, most people are so busy with work or family, and they have little time to think about their dental health beyond brushing their teeth in the morning and then again last thing at night. However, paying even a little more attention to habits and mealtimes during the day can greatly benefit dental health. Two of the most common dental problems are tooth decay and gum disease, which are preventable with proper oral care.
Both these conditions are caused by bacteria naturally present in the mouth. These bacteria thrive on leftover foods, so it is essential to ensure they are regularly removed before they can impact dental health. This is why regular brushing and flossing are vital for healthy teeth and gums.
Each time you eat, your mouth becomes more acidic as these bacteria feast on the leftovers, creating acid as a by-product. The acid leaches essential minerals from tooth enamel, including calcium and phosphorus. The more frequently teeth are exposed to these acids, the greater the risk of cavities. These bacteria can also produce harmful toxins, infecting the gums and causing gum disease. This serious infection can destroy gum tissue and other structures around teeth, eventually causing them to loosen.
We have listed a few easy tips to follow that will help minimise the effects of everyday life on your dental health.
Resist Snacking on Sugary or Starchy Foods
The more frequently you snack on sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods, the more often your teeth and gums are exposed to acids and toxins. Try to enjoy these foods as part of a main meal. If you want a snack, think about choosing foods that are kinder to your teeth, such as cheese and sugar-free dairy products and crunchy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a high water content and contain lots of fibre. The fibre has a slight scrubbing action on teeth while the water helps wash away loose food particles and bacteria.
Make sure you drink plenty of water, especially during and after a meal. Get into the habit of swishing water around your mouth after eating to reduce acidity levels and remove food debris.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
After eating, chew sugar-free gum as this helps to stimulate saliva flow and helps the mouth maintain a more neutral pH. Chewing gum or sugar-free sweets can also be helpful for anyone with dry mouth, a condition where they cannot produce enough saliva and which can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. It is often a side effect of medications and can be part of ageing.
It is important to ensure you brush your teeth and floss before going to sleep. The mouth is naturally drier during the night, and this environment allows bacteria to thrive, so the cleaner your mouth, the lower the risk of developing dental diseases. Finally, don’t forget to book regular dental checkups and cleans, and remember our knowledgeable staff can always answer your questions about dental health.