Follow these 8 tips to keep your mouth healthy and keep your teeth with you for life!
- Brush 3 times a day after meals. If you are unable to brush, rinse with water to naturally cleanse the food from your mouth to help prevent cavities.
- Eat tooth-friendly snacks. Avoid snacking on starchy or sugar laden foods as these stick to your teeth and promote activity of harmful bacteria. Great snack ideas are fibrous ones like apples, pears, celery, as well as foods that coat the teeth and help prevent oral disease such as cheese and dark chocolate.
- Beverage choices are just as important. Choose coffee or tea without milk or sugar. We always think sugar is the culprit for cavities but so is the milk we add to our warm beverages. Milk coats the teeth and is easily digestible by bacteria in the oral cavity, this raises the acidity level in the mouth and the teeth have a higher likelihood of cavities. Also, avoid acidic beverages and sugar laden drinks like pop, juice and sport drinks.
- Floss daily. Cleaning the surface area below the gum line that is not visible is vital for your oral health. The bacteria you brush off your teeth each time may not be as harmful as the bacteria that lurks under your gumline. Reason being, the bacteria that live under the gums are typically anaerobic ones, those that do not need oxygen to live and can produce by-products/toxins that can be detrimental to your gums and surrounding bone. Floss the teeth you want to keep!
- A common side effect of many prescribed medication is dry mouth. This can put you at much higher risk of developing oral diseases such as cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. Stimulating saliva helps to cleanse the mouth, it can be achieved during the day through chewing sugarless gum, sucking on sour sugarless candies, or using a saliva substitute.
- Give up smoking and chewing tobacco. Not only does this harmful habit increase your risk of oral and other types of cancer, it raises your risk of gum disease, oral fungus infections and cavities. If that is not bad enough it stains your teeth and causes bad breath.
- Limit alcohol. Heavy alcohol use can increase your risk of developing oral and throat cancers. If combined with tobacco use, you increase the risk substantially.
- See your dentist for a regular dental exam and your dental hygienist for regular dental cleanings to remove harmful bacteria, plaque and tarter.