October is the National Dental Hygiene Month and throughout the 31 days, efforts will be on to make people realize that they need to take better care of their oral health. The fact is that looking after your teeth is not expensive nor very difficult. To ensure that you keep smiling, here are a few tips to stick to a dental healthcare regime.
How to take care of teeth in 10 easy steps –
1. Brush before going to bed –
Germs and bacteria accumulate in your mouth throughout the day and the food that you eat tends to accumulate between your teeth. That is why you have to brush after meals, preferably after dinner before you go to bed. Unless you do this, there is a good chance plaque will develop around your teeth.
But remember, don’t brush within half an hour of your dinner. That is because the acids that food releases make your teeth’s enamel vulnerable and brushing right afterwards may erode the enamel.
2. Brush first thing in the morning –
When you are asleep, your mouth does not produce much saliva. And saliva is vital in flushing out harmful pathogens in your mouth. That is why, in those hours when you are asleep, bacteria colonies expand. Brushing your teeth in the morning will clean out the bacteria.
3. The right way of brushing –
The way you brush is important and if you don’t do it right, it’s as harmful as not brushing. Brush in gentle circular motions at a 45-degree angle. Your brushing shouldn’t last longer than 4 minutes or you might damage your enamel. Brush your tongue as well, especially the back of it because filth accumulates between your tastebuds and they too have the potential to harm your teeth.
Remember to use a soft-bristled brush.
4. Flossing –
Not a lot of people in India floss their teeth. Floss is a very thin cord that you can use to remove food particles or plaque stuck in those nooks and crannies of your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Unless you floss, tooth decay should set in because you are not expelling all possible plaque from your teeth.
5. Fluoride Toothpaste –
Make sure that your toothpaste contains sodium fluoride. This ingredient is famous for its anti-cavity properties and will keep your teeth strong and healthy. Next time you purchase a tube of toothpaste, go over the ingredient list to see if it contains fluoride.
6. Use a mouthwash –
Like flossing, not many Indians are keen on using mouthwash. That is because not many of us know how mouthwash works. It does more than just give you a fresh breath. It lowers the amount of acid present in your mouth to minimize teeth damage caused by acids. It adds more minerals to your teeth. And when you swish it in your mouth, it cleans out your teeth, tongue, and the oral cavity thoroughly.
7. Stay hydrated –
Drinking water frequently means you will wash down the bacteria that can harm your teeth. Drink water after your meals to negate the effect of acids. Or you can rinse your mouth with water too.
8. Visit your dentist –
Make an appointment with your dentist twice a year. Consider this as a kind of preventive check-up. Your dentist will examine your teeth and mouth for any signs of plaque, tartar, cavities or gum disease. If there are any, you can take action right away.
9. Cut down on sweets and sugary treats –
This is one of the most important dental care tips. All sweet-tasting foods contain sugars, which are converted to acids in your mouth. And acids are your teeth’s worst enemy.
Also, try to limit your intake of-
- Milky chocolates
- Fast foods
- Breakfast cereals
10. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are good –
Fruits and veggies that you have to chew a lot such as apples, pears, beets or broccoli trigger a surge in saliva production. And saliva is good for your teeth.
Teeth are as valuable as any other bone or organ in your body. This National dental Month, promise to take better care of them.