A shiny smile with perfect teeth is every person’s dream. But unfortunately because of the fast lives we live it can be really hard to eat and drink properly without damaging our teeth. Also, visiting the dentist can be a very traumatizing experience for most people. Some get scared just by the thought of going to the dental office. Others are scared by the pain. Aside from good oral hygiene, there are several other things you can do to keep your teeth strong. That way you will minimize the unwanted, sometimes painful visits. Proper brushing and flossing are always a must. But when it comes to protecting the enamel of your teeth there are also other simple steps that you can take.
A lot of people don’t understand the need of going to the dentist. If you want to have a great smile and avoid cavities or losing teeth, you should schedule checkups at least twice a year. This is definitely the first step to strong teeth. What’s really important is to brush twice a day and floss, while using the right techniques. The substance that is on the surface of our teeth is called enamel. That is the same exact substance that protects them and prevents damaging agents to penetrate deeper. If you manage to keep your teeth and gums clean at all times, the chances of having cavities are minimal. Here are some other tips that you can easily implement in your everyday life.
1. Food and Drinks
As you probably already know there are foods that are good for your teeth and there are the ones that can cause a lot of damage. The bacteria in our mouth use sugar from the food we eat and from the drinks we drink. They feed on those ingredients and produce acids that cause harm first to the enamel. That is why dentists recommend that you should limit the intake of sugar. This doesn’t mean that you completely have to stop eating foods that contain it. It is very good to know which types of products are very saturated with sugar.
With the proper nutrition, you can really protect your teeth from caries. For example, try to keep your hands from candy, cookies, cereals, dried fruits and more. It is always a better idea to go with fresh fruit. Today there are many versions of sweets, snacks, and candy you can get and contain a low sugar level. Apples are another great snack. They are actually called a natural toothbrush because they really stimulate the saliva flow. These crunchy fruits require chewing and will clean the surfaces of your teeth. Drinks are another thing you have to pay attention to. First of all, always choose water. It doesn’t contain any calories and it rinses the surfaces of your teeth. Sodas and fruity drinks are loaded on sugar. They also contain acids that cause direct damage to the enamel.
You have to make sure that you include vitamins and minerals in your diet. Calcium is the most important element that protects the enamel. You can find it in dairy products such as milk and cheese. If you don’t eat dairy foods, there are many other items that contain calcium. Vitamin A and D are very important for the health of your teeth. You can always get them as supplements of just buy foods that are rich in these Vitamins. Green leafy vegetables are usually packed with Vitamin A. Salmon, tuna, egg yolks, soy milk, kale, spinach are great sources of Vitamin D. Magnesium is found in almonds, black beans, spinach, bananas and more. Always include a lot of vegetables and fruit in your everyday meals. Scientists proved that a proper, healthy diet can reduce the risks of cavities up to 60%.
Fluoride is another preventive measure you can take. It is also a mineral that is a part of the tooth’s structure. Just like calcium, it will make the enamel much stronger. It is already proven that fluoride can even reverse the initial damage of the enamel caused by bacteria and acidic products. It will make your teeth much more resistant and there are many simple ways you can involve it in your regular daily routine.
Dentists recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You can literally find one in every single store. You should also use it for your kid’s teeth. Other products that can have fluoride in their ingredient list are mouthwash, floss, gel, foam and more. Before getting any fluoride supplement always make sure that you contact your dentist. Overuse of this ingredient can lead to fluorosis. That is why it should always be overseen by a specialist.
3. Use the right products
The first thing that a lot of people don’t know is that they should regularly replace their old toothbrush. Every person should first try to learn the right brushing technique. If they are brushing the wrong way, the chances are that their toothbrush will be damaged very soon. It is recommended to get a new one every three months. That way your brushing will always be effective and you won’t be using a damaged one.
When it comes to mouthwash, some can contain alcohol on their ingredient list. You should definitely avoid those brands. Instead, just read the label and choose one that is alcohol-free. Unfortunately, alcohol can cause damage to your gums and make your mouth very dry.
There are many different types of toothpaste on the market. At times it can be very confusing to choose the right one. Every single person has a different need when it comes to toothpaste. Some people are prone to caries, so they need one that contains cavity-protecting agents. Other want to have white teeth, so they can get a whitening one. Of course, you should always consult with your dentist, on which type is the best for you.
4. Avoid smoking
Smoking is one of the worst habits to have. It also has a very damaging effect on your oral cavity. First of all, if you smoke you will never have white teeth. Tobacco causes a lot of staining. You’ll have to spend a lot of money on bleaching techniques that can also be damaging if not done properly. What most people don’t know is that smoking can really speed up the decay process. It also causes dry mouth. This bad habit has the ability to lower the saliva flow and make the enamel more susceptible to bacteria and their acids.
5. Avoid using whitening kits without dentist supervision
There are many different whitening options that you can try these days. In-office bleaching is always the best idea. It is always supervised by a professional that exactly knows what he’s doing. The whitening agents are strong and can cause damage both to hard tissues of the teeth and to soft surrounding tissues. There are people that tend to use store-bought kits and not follow the instructions. Because of that they can damage the teeth’s enamel.
6. Chew gums
Xylitol gums are a very simple way to protect your teeth. First of all, the act of chewing really stimulates the saliva flow. That means that your teeth will be cleaner and there will be fewer bacteria. Saliva will wash off the acids from the enamel that can cause harm. Another thing to know about xylitol is that it’s a sugar alcohol that is not harmful to you. That is because bacteria recognize it as regular bad sugar and try to eat it. Fortunately, they can’t process it and they will stay without a source of food. If you don’t consume other sugars, the bacteria will starve and die. That way you will not be exposed to caries. Other types of gums contain sweeteners and are not recommended. You should really be careful on the gums you’ll choose and always check the ingredient list.
7. Take care of teeth grinding
Teeth grinding is a very common bad habit. Sometimes people are not even aware they are doing it. Others, they just choose to ignore it. The mechanical forces of grinding cause a lot of damage to your teeth and also the soft surrounding tissues. It usually leads to loss of enamel and dentin exposure. That is why this bad habit should be taken care of in time. Once you notice that you are grinding make sure to schedule a visit to the dentist. They usually recommend night guards that will avoid direct contact between teeth and ease the forces.
8. Take care of dry mouth
Dry mouth is another common condition that affects a lot of people. Not having enough saliva in the mouth makes the enamel more vulnerable to caries. Saliva washes the bacteria and acids off the teeth’s surfaces. It also removes the food left-overs that can serve as food for bacteria. Some people can experience dry mouth as a result of a certain medication they are taking. If you notice these changes always turn to your doctor. Make sure to hydrate properly, because dehydration also leads to dryness. Drink a lot of water and avoid sugary drinks and sodas. That way both you and your teeth will stay protected.
These are very simple but useful ways to have a bright, healthy smile. They can easily become a part of your everyday routine. If you have any doubts or questions, just ask your dentist. He is trained to give you advice and to help you have strong teeth.