Say "Ahhhh!" It might reveal more than you think.
You've most likely heard, your oral hygiene can have a major impact on your overall health and well being. Gum disease, for instance, has been linked to a variety of health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, premature labour and even Alzheimers.
That's why it's so important to take care of your teeth. Simply brushing and flossing on a daily basis, and visiting your dentist on a regularly, might not cut it.
But with these 8 simple steps, you can help improve your dental hygiene and the rest of your health. Now that's something to smile about.
1. Wait before you brush
A lot of us like to start the morning with a glass of orange juice right? You're going to want to hold off on brushing for a while afterwards.
Foods and drinks with a low pH, that is, acidic foods, temporarily soften the enamel of the teeth. If you immediately brush your teeth after consuming these types of foods and drinks, the action could remove some of the enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay over time.
The best option is to delay brushing after you’ve had citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, soda and wine. One study found that people who waited 30 to 60 minutes to brush after drinking soda had less wear on their teeth than those who brushed sooner.
2. Switch to a Soft-bristled Brush
You most likely already know you should change your toothbrush every two to three months (or sooner if the bristles are frayed), but if you’re using a hard brush, consider replacing it now. Medium and firm bristled toothbrushes may leave your teeth feeling cleaner, but they can be very abrasive—and damaging over time.
Most people would be perfectly fine with a soft-bristled brush, there’s no need to brush too vigorously, it’s not good for your teeth or gums. Using a gentle amount of pressure, tilting the brush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line; and brushing in a short, circular motion will keep those pearly whites in tip top shape.
3. Start by Brushing in the Back
This good habit may mean that you do a better job cleaning those hard-to-reach spots, which is crucial because all of those nooks and crannies in your molars make them more susceptible to gum disease and cavities.
Beginning your brushing routine in the rear is a good way to give the back of your mouth the attention it deserves. Every time you brush your teeth, start in the upper right or left side in the back.
4. Don't brush too often
The recommendation used to be to brush after every meal. Brushing too often can damage your gums and the enamel on your teeth, and because of that, twice a day is enough.
What you can do after every meal and snack is rinse with plain water. Do some vigorous swishing, forcing the liquid in between the teeth to disrupt and dislodge any food particles.
5. Don't linger over sipping sugary drinks
While you should limit the amount of sugary drinks in your diet, if you are going to have a beverage like soda, sweet tea or coffee with sugar and cream, it’s better to have it all at once, rather than sipping it throughout the day.
When you constantly expose your mouth to sugar, certain bacteria uses that sugar as a food source and metabolizes it into lactic acid, the lactic acid starts to dissolve the minerals in your teeth and that’s how cavities are formed.
6. Eat Teeth-whitening Foods
It's true, some foods can actually help keep your pearly whites, well, white.
Raw, coarse, fibrous foods, such as celery, cucumbers, apples, pears, carrots and lettuce, help scrub tooth surfaces and remove some of the plaque that’s accumulated, which can make teeth appear yellow
Also, these crunchy foods require more chewing time, so they also stimulate saliva, which helps neutralise acids that can erode your teeth.
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