Regularly visiting your dentist, brushing properly, and flossing daily are some of the most well-known tips to having a healthy smile. Aside from these best practices, there are other things you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your smile shining.
1. Don’t Brush Your Teeth Right After Eating, Especially After Eating Acidic Foods
We have always been taught to brush our teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes at a time. However, some may not know that it is not recommended to brush your teeth right after eating a meal.
Well, brushing right after you eat can actually affect your tooth enamel, especially if you eat something acidic — like a glass of orange juice you enjoy with your morning toast! And oftentimes, breakfast foods themselves can be particularly acidic. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends waiting at least an hour after eating before brushing your teeth.
So instead, consider brushing your teeth when you first wake up — before your morning meal. And if you still feel the urge to brush right after breakfast, you can try drinking a glass of water or chewing sugarless gum while you wait.
2. Cut Down on Smoking, Alcohol, and Coffee
If you regularly drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or have a morning cup of
joe, you could be causing damage to your teeth.
Pure alcohol on its own will not damage one’s teeth; however, people rarely order their beverages neat. Beer, liquor, and mixed drinks all contain high sugar content and high acidity levels, which is when it becomes damaging to your dental health. Both the sugar and the acid break down the enamel that protects your teeth, which can then lead to cavities, tooth decay, and other long-term dental problems.
Alcohol is also known to cause dry mouth, which also can result in significant dental damage. Saliva acts as a natural antibacterial agent for your mouth. It is responsible for neutralizing acids, washing away food particles, and enhancing your ability to taste. Without saliva, it is easier for bacteria and plaque to stay in your mouth.
Not to mention, after a long night out, we know the first thing everyone wants to do is plop into bed. And the last thing they want to do is to brush their teeth. Make sure, if you do enjoy a beverage or two responsibly, that you are always brushing your teeth when you get home!
Most people start their morning with a freshly brewed cup of coffee to help kick-start their day. But too much coffee can be doing more damage than good to those pearly whites you have.
Coffee has a bad reputation for staining your teeth and causing bad breath. But by using a tongue scraper, proper brushing techniques, and a dentist-recommended whitening routine, your smile can stay as bright as ever.
And, like any drink that is not water, coffee’s acidity can break down your enamel, which protects your teeth from plaque and bacteria.
We don’t want our coffee lovers to think we are asking them to give up their favorite drink permanently, but it is important only to drink it in moderation to ensure good dental health.
For years studies have shown how detrimental smoking can be on your overall health. There have been a multitude of campaigns to keep your heart strong and lungs healthy. But very rarely do you hear about the damaging impact smoking can have on your oral health.
Smoking is a significant cause of gum disease here in the United States. Gum disease starts with bacteria on your teeth getting under your gums and, in severe cases, can end with your teeth falling out. According to the CDC, smokers have twice the risk for gum disease compared to non-smokers.
Like coffee or red wine, smoking can also discolor your teeth and cause bad breath.
Studies have also linked smoking to oral cancer, so we always advise our patients to protect their health as much as possible by encouraging them to cut back or stop smoking.
3. Eat More Fiber and Dairy
We know dairy can be a considerable debate in some households. But the American Dental Association has listed dairy as a good food group for oral health.
Food products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, can be very low in sugar and very high in protein. They also are full of calcium which helps keep your teeth nice and strong.
Fruits and veggies are highly recommended not just for a balanced diet but for healthy smiles as well. Fruits and vegetables have a high water and fiber content, which helps naturally clean your teeth. Chewing also helps stimulate saliva production, which acts as an antibacterial agent we mentioned earlier.
4. Visit your dentist regularly
As always, it is recommended that you have a professional dental cleaning and exam every six months. The prevention of oral disease begins at home and continues with regular examinations. Regularly visiting the dentist assists in maintaining optimal oral health and preventing oral disease.
If you need to schedule your general dentistry cleaning appointment, we are here for you. Or, if you are looking for dental implants, restorative dentistry, or teeth whitening, our exceptional staff will give you the care you deserve to keep you smiling. Schedule your appointment with Austell Dental Associates today.