If you’re wondering how to keep your teeth healthy, then you’re not alone. Taking good care of your teeth starts with your daily oral hygiene – and that can, in turn, have a massive knock-on effect on your health as well as comfort. Here’s Vitality quick guide to essential tooth care hacks everyone should know. Small habits adopted throughout your day can make a profound difference to your overall oral health, and leave you happier, healthier-and smiling broadly.
Water is your friend
Sure, we all know we should drink more water daily-but did you know that it has a critical part to play in your daily oral hygiene too? Rinsing your mouth with warm water after you eat and drink, especially if it was acidic or sugary food, helps remove bacteria and re-balance the mouth PH to the correct level, warding off damage to the teeth. Even better news; Tap water, with its fluoride content (in areas where water is fluoridated), is far better for your teeth than bottled water, staving off decay and cavities.
Be smart with sugary food
It’s the acid in food that damages our tooth enamel, but the sugar we eat has a huge impact on our daily oral hygiene. Being smart with how you snack is a critical step to keeping your teeth healthy. While it’s a good idea to limit your sugar consumption for overall health, when it comes to tooth care it’s not so much how much sugar you eat as how often. The bacteria which causes tooth decay loves feasting on sugar as much as you do, and the more time they have to do so, the more oral damage you’ll experience. Limit the exposure of your teeth to post-snack sugar, and you’ll take a huge step forward in tooth care.
Keep your tongue well-scrubbed
Bad breath can be as feared as cavities, but most of us look for the cause in the wrong places. Ever noticed a coloured build-up or coating on your tongue? This is bacteria clinging to the tongue surface, and some of us are very prone to this unpleasant and stink-causing build-up. Be sure to brush your tongue well [or, even better, use a tongue scraper] daily, and eliminate not only one of the major sources of bad breath, but a scary deposit of often overlooked, cavity-causing bacteria too.
Keep calm and drink tea
Water isn’t the only drink that’s great for our daily oral hygiene. All tea varieties, be it green, black or white, are packed with polyphenols. These useful compounds can inhibit- and downright eliminate- the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Without them releasing the acids which contribute to tooth decay, your daily oral hygiene will be much improved. Don’t go overboard with the milk or drop in a spoon of sugar, though, or you will undo all your hard work!
Drink quickly and through a straw
You probably can’t imagine a straw as an essential part of your tooth care regimen, but in fact it is critical. Every time you consume something sweet or acidic, your teeth are bathed in ‘food’ for the bacteria that will attack your teeth to cause cavities and decay, or acid to destroy your enamel. The more you can direct these liquids away from the teeth and down your throat, the less contact your teeth will have with these destructive items- and the better your daily oral hygiene will be.
Chew some gum
If you’d like to keep your teeth as healthy as possible, then be sure to reach for a pack of sugar free gum in-between meals. The saliva that coats our mouths also protects our teeth, helping enamel to harden and reform. It also neutralizes the PH in the mouth, and carries away other destructive elements while circulating protective calcium and phosphate in the mouth. While popping a stick or two of gum doesn’t replace a good brushing and flossing regimen, it contributes to your tooth care and keeps your mouth cleaner when you can’t run to brush your teeth. Look for a brand with xylitol, an artificial sweetener with very smart anti-decay properties for an extra tooth-supporting boost.
Pick the right nibbles
Did you know that the food you eat can also contribute to your daily oral hygiene? Here are two of our favourites. Hard cheeses not only provide the same saliva stimulation as gum, but they help restore the PH in your mouth for a dental-friendly environment. Carrots are another weapon in your tooth care toolbox. Not only does the satisfying crunch help move stiff veggie fibres over your teeth, gently cleaning them, but they can help neutralize acid foods in the mouth, making for a better PH in the oral cavity and less chance for cavity-causing bacteria to get their foot in the door. Lastly, they’re packed full of vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system and keep your teeth strong.
Know how to brush
Brushing your teeth may seem simple…but do you really know how to keep your teeth healthy? Scrubbing too hard, or brushing at a time when the enamel is softened by acidic foods, can actually cause enamel damage rather than keep it away. Likewise, using the wrong brushing style can cause you to miss bacterial deposits on the teeth- opt for small circles that sweep the gum line clean. Don’t forget to floss, either, and see your dentist and hygienist regularly to stay on top of your tooth care.
Knowing how to keep your teeth healthy is a lot more than booking a visit with your dentist every now and again- it comes down to making small tweaks in your daily regime to ensure your daily oral hygiene supports a happy, healthy mouth. Fortunately, tooth care needn’t be complicated, and with these simple hacks for healthy teeth up your sleeve, and a great dental team here at Vitality, you’ll soon have a smile you love.