March 31, 2015 - 4:49am
The teeth are often overlooked because they don’t easily get damaged, but once bacteria and plaque have taken their toll on teeth. You would need to spend thousands to restore your lost and damaged teeth. Luckily, here are 10 simple yet effective ways to keep your teeth healthy and complete even as you age.
1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Like any other part of the body, the teeth need nutrition and minerals to sustain their health. The most important nutrients for the teeth are calcium, fluoride, phosphorus, vitamin D, and magnesium. These five nutrients work together to build and strengthen tooth enamel and protect the tooth from root to crown. You can get your recommended daily intake of most of these nutrients by eating a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, meats, grains and oils.
2. Brush with fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day to ensure optimal removal of food particles and plaque. Fluoride is a necessary dental nutrient, but it doesn’t come in abundance with food sources. The best source of fluoride would be toothpaste, public water and topical products used by dental professionals. Using fluoridated toothpaste helps protect your teeth from bacteria and strengthen the enamel. A soft-bristled toothbrush is ideal to use because it doesn’t wear down the enamel as much as hard-bristled brushes.
3. Floss in between brushes.
Brushing is good for removing superficial dirt and plaque but the spaces in between teeth are difficult to reach with regular toothbrushes. This is why most dental professionals recommend flossing. Most of the cavities found on patients are on the chewing surfaces as well as the sides of the teeth. Flossing can efficiently remove food debris and plaque stuck in between teeth and reduces the risk of cavities.
4. Gargle with an antiseptic mouth rinse.
Plenty of mouth rinses are available in drug stores and supermarkets but choose wisely when shopping. Choose a mouth rinse that is labeled antibacterial so that it can actually help in killing bacteria in your mouth.
5. Don’t cut down on meats.
Meat is a primary source of phosphorus and magnesium, two primary nutrients for maintaining dental health. Vegetarians have been found to have weaker teeth because of the lack of meat in their diets. If you truly want to follow a vegetarian diet, make sure you take supplements or find alternative sources of phosphorus and magnesium.
6. Kick the butt.
Smoking not only stains the teeth and causes bad breath, it also can increase your risk of lung cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Do you need more reasons to quit?
7. Rinse your mouth with water every after meals.
Water rinses away the excess food stuck in your mouth and neutralises the acidity of the food you ate. Acidity can erode tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay, but rinsing with water helps speed up the remineralisation process of the teeth.
8. Don’t brush right after eating.
Rest for at least 30 minutes after eating before you brush your teeth so that it will have time to demineralise. Brushing while the tooth enamel is demineralised can make the teeth weak and more susceptible to tooth decay.
9. Minimise the consumption of sweet, sticky and dark-colored foods.
Some of these foods include candies, cakes, pastries, ice cream, toffee, dried fruits, caffeine, soda and red sauces. Not only do these foods stick to the mouth, they also feed bacteria and promote tooth decay, and even stain the teeth if consumed too often.
10. Visit a dental professional every six months.
Getting regular dental care improves oral health significantly over the years. If your dentist is always on the lookout for tooth decay and periodontal disease, you will be able to resolve these problems early on and prevent the complications associated with these dental problems. A dental check-up is usually covered by dental insurance and you only have to shell out a minimal amount as compared to getting extensive dental care in the form of restorations and surgeries.
Keeping your teeth healthy will not just improve and maintain your facial appearance and dental functions, but you also will have to spend less on dental care in your future years.