If we could go back in time and give our younger selves some advice, we would all change something in our lives.
We might encourage ourselves to take up a sport to stay fit, try to save more money for the future, or travel more and see the world.
But the one piece of advice almost everyone would agree on sharing, is to take better care of our teeth.
The good news is, it’s never too late to start, and your future self will be thankful you started these oral health habits today instead of leaving it too late.
Here are five things you can start today that you’ll be happy you did years from now.
Regular brushing and flossing
Let’s start with the easiest way to look after your teeth – by brushing them.
We’ve been told since we were kids we should brush our teeth twice a day, but only half of us here in Australia actually do.
Brushing is essential when it comes to oral hygiene, as it cleans your teeth from food particles and scrubs away plaque from your enamel.
It is this plaque which is filled with bacteria that eats away at your teeth, leaving cavities. These cavities either need to be filled, or things become so bad the tooth needs to be pulled.
Brushing also stimulates the gums, which helps to keep them healthy and prevent gum disease.
Flossing is a great way to get to the areas between your teeth that regular brushing can miss.
Brushing and flossing are the most important things that you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Cut down on sugary foods
This advice isn’t just good for your oral health, but for your overall health too.
Foods high in sugar not only make you fat, but are also incredibly damaging to your teeth. Sugar attracts bacteria, which in turn eats away at the enamel of your teeth, resulting in cavities.
And it’s not just how much sugar you eat, but also when you eat it.
Eating sugary snacks before bedtime is the most dangerous because you don’t produce as much saliva when you sleep, which at least goes someway to fighting the bacteria.
Soft drinks are especially bad because they contain zero nutritional benefits.
One bottle of your typical soft drink contains a staggering fourteen teaspoons of sugar – more than double the recommended daily amount.
Avoid teeth staining drinks
If you brush your teeth properly and regularly, you can eat anything you want without worrying about staining. However, there are certain things you should cut down on if you’re worried about your teeth staining.
The biggest culprits are tea and coffee, with tea surprisingly being the worst of the two.
Even though it’s lighter in colour than coffee, tea contains a higher amount of tannins, a compound which bonds with the protein in the enamel. This causes the tannins to stick to your teeth longer and therefore more likely to stain.
If you do drink a lot of tea and/or coffee every day, then start brushing your teeth at work after lunch to help lessen the effect of the compound bonding with the enamel.
Other things to eat/drink in moderation are wine (red and white both cause staining), colourful berries like raspberries and blackberries, and acidic fruits like lemons.
Regardless of your oral health in 20 years, you will absolutely thank yourself for giving up smoking.
Despite all the obvious overall health benefits of quitting, the damage smoking can do to your oral health is staggering.
From basic things like bad breath, through to more serious issues like losing your sense of taste and smell, and other life-threatening problems like oral cancer, damage from smoking is the most avoidable problem a person can have.
The sooner you give up, the better you will feel, and the less likely you are prone to the above issues.
Regular dental check-ups
Even if you brush twice a day, avoid damaging foods, and don’t smoke, you always need to visit your dentist for a check-up.
Having a check-up every six months is better than leaving it for years only to discover there’s severe damage to your teeth that can’t be fixed.
Plaque will eventually build up over time for everyone, and the best way to get rid of it is to have a proper polish and clean from a professional.
Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to clean those hard to reach places and spot any potential problems before they escalate.
Start today with our help
These five oral health habits will hold you in good stead, helping protect your teeth and gums from health problems later on in life.
As we age, so too do our oral hygiene standards. We tend to brush our teeth less often and visit the dentist less frequently.
Starting good oral health habits is a great way to protect yourself from tooth loss. By putting in a few extra minutes now, you can save years of trouble.
If you would like to start with a check-up then please don’t hesitate to contact us today and book an appointment.
Our friendly and experienced staff will be happy to help in any way they can.