Tips for Healthy Teeth & Gums
If you floss first you can remove a great deal of food that may be stuck between teeth. Flossing can be a little challenging using your hands, but holders with floss attached work very well. A water pic can also help dislodge food between your teeth.
When brushing, whether using a manual or motorized toothbrush, angle the bristles at a 45-degree angle at the gum line and gently move the brush back and forth. Be sure to reach all surfaces of the teeth. Your toothbrush can wear down after a while and become less effective. Replace it every three to four months or when the bristles start getting soft. Also replace it when you get sick and again when you get well to avoid germs that linger on the brush.
Including foods rich in vitamin D and calcium such as milk, eggs, and fish in your diet will help reduce demineralization of the tooth enamel. If you don’t eat these foods often, consider a multivitamin supplement. Coffee, red wine, blueberries and other tooth-staining food and drink can leave a film on your teeth. Brushing with toothpaste containing baking soda after eating or drinking these foods to help remove the stains.
Sugar in whatever form, such as candy, pastries, and cough drops, reacts with the sticky plaque that coats your teeth. Bacteria in the plaque converts the sugar into an acid that eats away at tooth enamel and encourages cavities. If you opt for sugar substitutes, use a natural product like stevia. Gummy candies, especially, stick in your teeth, keeping the sugar and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours.
Drinking Soft Drinks
It’s natural to pick up a can of soda at a barbeque or on a picnic, but the high sugar, phosphoric acid and citric acids in soft drinks eat away at tooth enamel and contribute to many other health risks. Diet soft drinks let you skip the sugar, but they may have even more acid in the form of artificial sweeteners.
Your Teeth Aren’t Scissors
How many times have you encountered a package that wouldn’t tear open, couldn’t find scissors, and used your teeth to try to tear through the plastic? It’s not a good idea, as it can crack or chip your teeth.