September 4, 2018
As any dentist will tell you, there’s a direct relationship between how well someone does with their hygiene habits and how many cavities and other oral health problems they get. And it’s not only brushing and flossing that has an impact – it’s also your dietary habits as well. Many people who have had extensive dental work say they wished they had developed better habits earlier on, but it’s never too late to make changes and get the benefits that go with them! In this blog, you’ll get the best tips and tricks for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and preventing the need for major dental work. Keep reading to learn more!
Sip All Day? Get Decay!
Do you like to sip on a coffee with sugar in the morning or an iced tea with sugar in the afternoon? These habits can spell disaster for your teeth.
Many people know that the amount of sugar they consume can cause cavities, but few people realize that how frequently they consume sugar is equally (if not more) important.
Try to consume these beverages within 20 minutes or so to reduce the risk of getting cavities.
What Foods Should You Avoid? Which Foods Should You Include?
When it comes to sweet treats and desserts, the name of the game is moderation. Enjoying your favorite foods is important because it adds to your quality of life, but it’s still worthwhile to minimize sugary foods and drinks as much as possible, including:
- Candy (especially sticky candies like gummy bears, caramel or fruit leather)
- Pastries, doughnuts, cakes and pies
- Sodas (even diet soda, which has acids that attack your enamel)
- Coffee and tea with sugar
And which foods will actually benefit your oral health? All fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens and citrus fruits), dairy products such as milk and cheese, probiotic foods like yogurt, green tea and shiitake mushrooms are all great choices.
What’s the Best Way To Keep Your Teeth and Gums Clean?
In addition to seeing a dentist every 6 months for a checkup and cleaning, here are some easy tips to get the most from your brushing and flossing routine:
- Brush at least twice a day for 2 minutes. Consider using an electric toothbrush, which provides 6,000 – 30,000 brush strokes per minute and automatically stays on for 2 minutes.
- When it comes to flossing, aim for better – not perfect. If you want to floss 7 days a week, but only wind up doing it 4-5 times, you’ll still be benefitting your oral health! Also, some people find it easier to floss after lunch or dinner each day instead of waiting until bedtime.
If you don’t have access to a toothbrush and floss, swishing with water several times after meals will wash away the harmful sugars in your mouth. An even better on-the-go option is chewing sugar-free gum, which stimulates salivary flow to neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause cavities.
Remember, when it comes to your hygiene habits, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Any efforts you make on a daily basis will go a long way towards keeping you out of the dental chair!
About the Author
Dr. Alex Martin is a general, cosmetic and restorative dentist who understands the power of prevention. In addition to providing outstanding dental care to his community, he also focuses on teaching his patients how to prevent dental problems from the start. If you have any additional questions about caring for your teeth, he can be reached via his website or at (480) 860-1993.
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