We have all been bombarded since our early years with information about how sugary foods and drinks are the most obvious dietary factors that cause our teeth to rot and erode. However, it seems that the excessive consumption of increasingly popular health kicks are also to blame. Seemingly healthy lemon juice in hot water, sparkling water, or even the detox juice diet, are full of acidic substances that can cause erosion of the teeth and lead to teeth sensitivity. Here’s our quick guide to keeping your teeth healthy.
Step 1 – Change your toothbrush
Make sure you change your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months, otherwise you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. Don’t underestimate how flossing can transform a smile; flossing removes some of the staining in between teeth. Try to floss several times a week as this will not only improve the health of your gums, you will also notice your smile looking brighter.
Step 2 – Nature’s toothbrush
Foods that are firm or crisp are known to help clean teeth as they’re eaten. Apples are considered to be ‘nature’s toothbrush’ and are a great way to clean teeth on the go. Other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. All of these foods are known as ‘detergent’ foods, as the rough edges act as a cleaner to remove bacteria from the teeth. Try to make these the final foods you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating.
Step 3 – Get a calcium boost
Cheese is known for helping to maintain healthy white teeth. Cheese speeds the neutralisation of acid and remineralisation of enamel. Less damage to our enamel equals less discolouration. Cheese is also high in calcium which is known for strengthening bones and teeth. For a less fattening alternative, milk and yoghurt act in the same way as cheese, containing calcium and phosphorus to promote the remineralisation of tooth enamel.
Step 4 – See the light
Dark-coloured foods are notorious for causing discolouration in the naturally white teeth enamel. The best thing to do is try to avoid these foods and drinks such as coffee, balsamic vinegar and red wine, but if you do want to treat yourself, drink a glass of water after as this will help minimise staining.
Step 5 – Control your sugar intake
As plenty of us know, our favourite fizzy drinks and sugared goodies are one of the main causes of tooth erosion. The most important action we can take to limit tooth erosion is to make sure we reduce our sugar intake as much as possible and when consuming fizzy drinks, use a straw to limit the contact the sugary liquid has with your teeth. It may come as a shock to learn that energy drinks are just as bad for your teeth, so watch out and avoid these where possible!
Step 6 – Don’t be stuck up
Sticky foods are your mouth’s worst nightmare for unwanted plaque! Healthy snacks such as dried fruit, raisins and fruity roll-ups require us to chew harder and for longer, allowing them to get more and more stuck into our teeth, leading to a build-up of plaque. Make sure you rinse with water and pay extra attention when flossing at night to remove any food particles lodged in your teeth.
Step 7 – Don’t forget your dentist!
Your dentist appointment can be so easily forgotten, but it is crucial that you make time in your diary to attend regular check-ups, however busy you are.
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