Correct These Habits for Healthier Teeth and Gums
All this time you may have been thinking you pretty well understood how to take care of your teeth. Unfortunately, sometimes the wires get crossed and bad information gets out, and that may be what we end up believing. This can also occur in the realm of oral care and how you should take care of your teeth.
Brushing Right After You Eat
While it is certain that brushing your teeth is a good idea, it is not good to brush right after a meal. The food you eat tends to soften the enamel on your teeth, and brushing them shortly afterward can cause you to lose tiny bits of your tooth enamel. Since your enamel does not grow back, this is not a good idea. Wait about 30 minutes after you eat.
Brushing with the Wrong Toothbrush
Although brushing is an excellent idea, you may be causing more harm than good if you are using the wrong toothbrush. Dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for best results. Since plaque is rather easily removed with a toothbrush, one with hard bristles will wear away your gums faster. Soft bristles bend and can get under the edge of your gum line, helping to remove plaque more thoroughly.
Spit Without Rinsing
After brushing, most people spit out the excess toothpaste and then rinse their mouth. This is bad because it removes the fluoride (assuming you are using toothpaste with fluoride) you need to protect your teeth. Instead, spit out the excess but do not rinse. Let the fluoride soak into your teeth for added protection.
Not Cleaning Bleeding Gums
Although your gums may hurt a little, some people may think it is a good idea to avoid cleaning or flossing their gums in that area. Unfortunately, you should do the opposite. Most likely, the reason they bleed is that of an excess of bacteria already in your gums. This indicates gum disease. Gently flossing in that area and brushing can help remove the bacteria and actually allow it to heal. It will also help prevent more bacteria from getting into your bloodstream, which can cause many serious health problems.
Avoiding Dental Visits
It is easy to miss one appointment by accident, but to miss several of them means you are likely hurting your own dental care. Dentists can easily spot potential problems while in the early stages and treat them. Missing appointments is a problem because the longer that any dental problem continues, the more expensive it is going to be to correct it. Dentists are also usually the first ones to spot oral cancer, which can spread fast and is often fatal.
Brushing your teeth removes food particles, bacteria, and acid from your teeth and gums. It cannot, however, remove them from between your teeth, which is what dental floss is for. Leaving food particles between your teeth means that the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease is being allowed to produce acid on your teeth every time you eat sugar or carbs.
No Pain Means No Problems
This kind of thinking is potentially dangerous. Not every serious oral health problem is associated with pain. Gum disease, which can cause your teeth to fall out, is one of them. Regular oral checkups can spot it early and prevent problems. Some oral cancer is another problem that is often nearly painless until it reaches the advanced stages. It often occurs in the back of the throat where it is not easily seen.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Staying well hydrated is important not only for your body but also for your teeth and gums. Water helps you to be able to generate enough saliva to reduce the number of bacteria and acid on your teeth and gums. It also helps to wash away the sugar in your mouth from the food you eat.
Consuming Too Much Sugar
Sugar comes in many forms in the food and drinks you regularly consume. Most people recognize the sugar in cakes, donuts, candy, and ice cream, but they fail to recognize the amount of sugar in sodas and specialty coffees. When you sip on sugar-laden coffees, sodas, or fruit juice all day long, you are enabling bacteria to produce a lot of acid on your teeth, which will shortly result in sensitive teeth and cavities.
Drinking and Eating Foods That Stain Your Teeth
Keeping your teeth white can be a problem if you have a hard time saying no. Many foods and drinks contain strong dyes in them that are sure to stain and darken your teeth. Drinks such as coffee, tea, grape juice, and red wine are among the strongest. You can keep your nice smile whiter longer by avoiding such foods and drinks, or at least drink water and rinse your mouth with water afterward. Using a straw can also help you keep the dyes off your teeth.