The ‘dhak dhak’ girl, Madhuri Dixit is well known for her million dollar smile. She says – “care for your smile because when you smile, the world smiles with you and when you take care of your smile, the world falls in love with you.” But caring for your teeth is important if you want that perfect dazzling smile. It is not always necessary though that while having a dental check-up, your dentist will tell you everything. So here I am with some of the best and lesser known dental care tips.
STAY AWAY FROM TEETH STAINS
Apart from smoking or chewing tobacco, there are several foods and drinks like coffee, tea, colas, and wines that can stain your teeth.Once you know what to eat and what to avoid, you can protect and keep your teeth pearly white. Large consumption of foods/drinks that are high in tannins and acidic in nature breaks down the enamel on teeth. Once enamel is broken, pigmented molecules harm your teeth and thus leads to stains.
If you cannot do without your cup of joe, try to drink it in moderation. Research has shown that drinking green tea gives you stains as bad as smoking. I would suggest you invest in a high-quality option because the lower the quality, the worse the stain it’ll cause.
STOP TOOTH SENSITIVITY
If hot, cold, sweet, very acidic foods or anything with citric acid and drinks make your teeth or a tooth sensitive or painful then you may have sensitive teeth. Sometimes tooth sensitivity comes from brushing too aggressively or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. Over time, you can wear down the protective layers of your teeth which when exposed to extreme temperatures or acidic or sticky foods, tooth sensitivity and discomfort can result.
Tooth sensitivity can come and go over time. Brush twice daily for 2 minutes with toothpaste that does not have high levels of abrasives, and floss once a day. This can help reduce the chance of tooth sensitivity. Avoiding acidic foods like pickles, tomato sauce, lemon etc. and drinking your lemonade with a straw can go a long way in avoiding any tooth discomfort.
FIGHT TOOTH DECAY
Eating high carb diet and canned juices give you dental caries as bad as chocolates and sweets. Starches made from white flour or any other food product consisting of carbohydrates can linger in your mouth and then break down into simple sugars. Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth that feast on carbohydrates, be it sugar from candy or starch from wholesome foods such as bread.
Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Don’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it after bedtime tooth brushing. Saliva flow decreases during sleep and without enough saliva, teeth are less able to repair themselves after an acid attack.
ALSO READ: How To Control Sugar Cravings?
PREVENT TOOTH ENAMEL EROSION
Don’t brush your teeth immediately after a meal. Research shows that brushing too soon after meals and drinks, especially those that are acidic, can do more harm than good. Consuming anything acidic (citric acid) like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons, weaken tooth enamel because acid attacks the teeth and the layer below it, called dentin. Brushing too soon after eating them can accelerate this process by damaging the enamel in its weakened state.
Wait for half an hour to one hour. This allows saliva to buffer the drop in intra-oral pH following meals to avoid mineral loss of the tooth.
BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY PREVENTION
Tooth decay in infants and very young children is often referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. White spots on a tooth’s surface are it’s early symptoms. Baby bottle tooth decay happens when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars (like milk, formula, and fruit juice) cling to an infant’s teeth for a long time. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and make acids that attack the teeth.
Milk should be served only with meals. Don’t use feeding bottle for your baby at sleep time. This not only exposes your child’s teeth to sugars but can also put your child at risk for ear infections and choking. Implement good oral hygiene at an early age. Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding. Begin brushing your child’s teeth, without toothpaste, when his or her first tooth comes in. If you use toothpaste, use a fluoride-free one.
ADVICE FOR DENTAL CARE TIPS
BRUSH WITH FLUORIDE TOOTHPASTE: Teeth can heal themselves. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. Make it a habit of brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
DON’T SNACK ON SUGARY FOODS: The less sugar you consume, the better for your teeth. If you can’t resist sugary treats, restrict them to mealtimes; this gives the saliva a chance to neutralize and buffer the acids.
EAT FIBROUS FOODS: Eating fibrous fruits and veggies help clean your teeth as they have a detergent effect in your mouth. The action of eating any fibrous food produces saliva in your mouth which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the food also stimulates the gums.