5 Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay and Bad Breath
Tooth decay isn't something we should be concerned about in our childhood years alone. Having good oral and dental hygiene habits is a serious lifelong commitment. By taking proper care of our mouths and teeth, we not only prevent tooth decay, or cavities, but also bad breath as well as more serious problems like gingivitis, and even heart disease. Proper daily care, regular visits to the dentist, and paying attention to what we put in our mouths are some of the ways we can keep our teeth healthy and in great working order. Let's take a closer look at five ways to prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
Practice good oral and dental hygiene
Sometimes we take our teeth for granted and forget how important it is to keep them clean and healthy. Proper cleaning and care should be a big part of everyone's daily routine. Dentists all over the world, like dentist Mt Gravatt, recommend that we brush our teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. They also suggest using a soft bristled toothbrush that is replaced every 3-4 months, and good brushing techniques are important for the best results. Don't forget to include your tongue in the brushing process. The tongue is a harbor for bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath.
Another suggestion from dentists for good oral hygiene is to floss our teeth once a day. Flossing between teeth gets rid of bits and pieces of food that may be trapped in hard to reach places. It also removes plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to gingivitis, as well as bad breath.
One of the most important parts of good oral and dental hygiene is visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleaning. An appointment every six months is what most dentists suggest. If you have a problem, or question, make sure to see your dentist sooner.
Avoid certain foods and drinks
Sugar isn't the only enemy when it comes to tooth decay, but it is probably enemy number one. Cutting out sugary soft drinks is a great way to protect your teeth. If it's too difficult to stop drinking them, try a sugar-free option, or brush teeth immediately after drinking. If brushing right way isn't an option, rinse out your mouth with water. Fruit juice is another beverage that is full of sugar and bad for teeth so should be avoided. Of course candy is right at the top of the list of foods to avoid for great oral and dental hygiene. Soft, chewy candy remains stuck on, and between tooth surfaces for a long time. If you do partake in an occasional sweet treat, be sure to clean your teeth immediately afterwards.
Sugary soft drinks and candy are obviously bad for teeth, but sugar is lurking in other foods that we don't often think of. Foods like bread, crackers, pretzels, and other similar snacks are just as detrimental to healthy teeth.
Consume foods and beverages that are beneficial to good oral and dental health
Not only should we avoid food that is bad for our teeth, we should add healthy foods to our diet that can give our oral health a boost. Number one on the list, are foods that are high in calcium. Calcium is one of the building blocks of healthy teeth and bones, and cheese is a great example of a tooth-friendly food. Crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, celery, and peppers are perfect additions to meals and snacks. They get the saliva flowing in the mouth which sweeps away harmful bacteria. They also add vital nutrients for better health. Green tea is a very healthy beverage and provides antioxidants that are super beneficial to great oral health. In general, adding foods that are high in vitamins and minerals to the daily diet gives health a boost. A healthy body means a healthy mouth.
Extra care between meals, and when you can't brush
Sometimes we are in situations where brushing our teeth isn't an easy option. But, even if we are at work, or in school, we should always be aware of how to maintain good oral and dental hygiene. After a meal, or snack, a great way to clean our mouth is by simply drinking water. Water rinses away a great amount of sugar and bacteria that is lingering on teeth. Chewing sugarless gum is another quick fix for a situation when brushing isn't an option. Chewing gum promotes the production of saliva, and saliva is one of the body's best defenses against tooth decay and bad breath. If you have something stuck between your teeth after eating, clean it out with an interdental cleaning tool, and rinse with water. You don't have to be at home to maintain your good oral hygiene routine.
Things that you should not be doing
Taking positive steps toward great oral and dental hygiene are important, but there are some things that we need to stop doing too. If you smoke, quit. Smoking, or using other forms of tobacco products are very bad for oral health, not to mention that they cause awful bad breath. Smokers are more likely to suffer from periodontal diseases. Avoid biting, or chewing on hard food, or other objects, as they may cause a crack or chip in a tooth. Some foods and beverages like red wine, coffee, black tea, cherries, and other colorful fruits cause staining on teeth and should either be avoided, or clean teeth immediately to get the stains off.
Keeping our teeth free from tooth decay, healthy and strong, and having a clean, fresh mouth is not difficult. It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to care for our precious teeth every day. Simply by brushing, flossing, eating and drinking healthy foods, and visiting our dentist regularly we can keep a bright, healthy smile on our faces for a life time.