At Expressions Dental Care, we always make sure to educate our Richmond Hill patients about proper at-home care dental techniques that will keep their smiles healthy and strong.
The most important part of preventive dental care is to brush your teeth at least twice a day (remember to brush your teeth before going to bed at night) with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue. This will help remove bacteria from your mouth and also help freshen your breath.
Daily flossing is also recommended. Flossing helps to clean out the tight spaces between the teeth. If you have braces, you may need to use floss threaders to get between the metal brackets. To get the most benefit out of flossing, you’ll want to make sure you’re flossing in the correct way. At your next dental appointment, ask your dentist for a quick flossing demonstration to make sure you’re properly using this tool to maximize its benefits.
Although some foods/beverages invite tooth decay, while others help fight plaque build-up. Here are some foods to seek out and some to avoid.
Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
Foods with fiber have a detergent effect in your mouth and also get saliva flowing. Next to good home dental care, this is your best natural defense against cavities and gum disease. About 20 minutes after you eat something containing sugars or starches, your saliva begins to reduce the effects of the acids and enzymes attacking your teeth. Because saliva contains traces of calcium and phosphate, it also restores minerals to areas of teeth that have lost them from the bacterial acids.
Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products.
Cheese is another saliva maker. The calcium in cheese, and the calcium and phosphates in milk and other dairy products, help put back minerals your teeth might have lost due to other foods.
Green and black teas.
Both contain polyphenols that interact with plaque bacteria. These substances either kill or hold back bacteria. This prevents them from growing or producing acid that attacks teeth. Foods with fluoride. Fluoridated drinking water, or any product you make with fluoridated water, helps your teeth. This includes powdered juices (as long as they don't contain a lot of sugar) and dehydrated soups. Commercially prepared foods, like poultry products, seafood, and powdered cereals, also can give fluoride.
Sticky candies and sweets.
If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly. So thumbs down for lollipops, caramels, and cough drops that contain refined sugar.
Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth.
Soft breads and potato chips, for instance, can get trapped between your teeth.
Carbonated soft drinks.
These drinks are the leading source of added sugar among kids and teens. Besides being loaded with sugar, most soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel.