This article on how you could be ruining your smile aims to show you small things you could change to improve your oral health.
People have a more extensive knowledge of dental health these days, but brushing two times a day with toothpaste may not be all you need to do. Here are some hints and tips on how and why these things could be wasting your teeth.
You eat way too much sugar and you don’t even realise it – in a perfect world, you wouldn’t drink orange juice at all. Whole fruit is full of fibre, which means the sugars aren’t as accessible. Juicing fruit destroys the good stuff, which means you may as well wash down your cereal with a can of Coke. It’s the same for smoothies. Stick to water or tea and get your five-a-day the proper way.
Your mouthwash is too boozy – alcoholic mouthwashes are very good at killing bacteria. They’re not as good at distinguishing good bacteria from the plaque-causing kind. Antibacterial versions, like Corsadyl, are equally undiscerning. That’s bad news for your heart as well as your smile; research in the journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine found that antiseptic mouthwashes up your heart attack risk by decimating the bacteria that helps blood vessels relax. Switch to a flouridated, teetotal version instead.
You rinse too soon after brushing – what you gargle is only as effective as when you gargle it. The fluoride in toothpaste coats your teeth and protects them from decay. When you rinse with mouthwash straight away, you wash that defensive layer away. Instead, stow a bottle in your desk drawer and use it an hour after lunch, to freshen your breath through the afternoon. Or wait a while after brushing before your use it.
You brush too much – brushing your teeth buffs away the stains that can discolour them. But brush for longer than two minutes, more than twice a day, or bear down too hard on your teeth, and you can brush away the enamel as well. If you want to top up after eating, chew sugar-free gum instead; it stimulates saliva, which acts as a natural antibacterial to help keep your teeth white.
You need to floss – despite what recent news has said, flossing is not an optional extra when you’ve got some spare time. Your brush can’t reach around a third of your tooth surface – if you don’t floss, this becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause decay and receding gums. Floss straight after brushing, to pull leftover toothpaste between teeth and double the protection.
You keep your toothbrush for too long – Your dentist encouraging you to replace your toothbrush (or brush head) every three months isn’t just so he can sell more. When the bristles are cut at the factory, they’re left jagged. They’re rounded off before being packaged, but over time this forgiving surface wears away and you end up with sharp bristles that can strip your tooth’s dentin and enamel. Replace yours before the bristles lose their shape to prevent the damage.
We hope you can tae some of these steps and ensure the health of your teeth in the future! Happy brushing.
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