Valentines Day is fast approaching and one of the best ways to get someones attention is a beautiful smile. So here is our friendly public service announcement to help you have and maintain a healthy glowing smile for that special someone.
1. Brushing at least 2x every day can help reduce bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease and tooth decay.
2. Flossing cleans all of the spaces that brushing can't reach. Leaving food and bacteria in between your teeth will make the gums red and uncomfortable. Not flossing also contributes to bad breath and gums that bleed.
3. Cleaning the tongue with either a tongue scraper or your tooth brush helps to remove bacteria and the coating of food that gets left on the tongue. Leaving that microfilm of food and bacteria on the tongue also contributes to bad breath.
4. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouth wash can also help reduce bacteria the mouth not only on teeth and tongue but also all of the other areas bacteria can fester including the roof of the mouth and the soft tissue inside of the cheeks.
5. Drinking coffee, tea, red wine or dark soda can contribute to extrinsic staining of the teeth. To help combat staining try rinsing with water after drinks that stain.
6. There are numerous ways to get rid of stain and whiten teeth. Over the counter products usually remove extrinsic stains caused by the things we eat and drink. In office bleaching treatments can actually change the color of the teeth, but before doing such treatments each individual should be evaluated by a dentist.
7. Regular dental visits can keep teeth clean and looking their best and also make sure there aren't any infections or decay.
8. Wearing lip stick or lip gloss with red/blue undertones also trick the eye into thinking the teeth are whiter due to the contrast.
Did you know that diet is one of the key factors in developing dental decay? No? Well then you have come to the right place!
Without getting too sciency (if its not a real word it should be....I will work on that at a later date), I will explain how the things we eat and drink affect how we get cavities and break down fillings. Our saliva is actually amazing, it keeps the PH of our mouth at a healthy state; not too basic or acidic. Essentially, anytime you put anything in your mouth the PH of your mouth will change and get more acidic to break food down, especially sugars, starches and carbs, for approximately 20 minutes or so after consuming these foods. Now some foods affect the PH more than others. Healthy sugars that are found in dairy or in fruits have very good properties and the benefits of these foods outweigh the risks of decay and can and should be eaten frequently. Our bodies have to work very hard to break down starches and carbs. The saliva is more acidic and will linger until the traces of such foods are broken down. While your mouth is in this acid state the enamel is weakened and the bacteria is active in breaking down the teeth and weakening fillings.
Now, of course, we all have to eat and our diets undoubtedly will contain sugars, starches and carbs. The idea is to limit such things between meals so that our PH in our saliva will get back to its protective state for a good amount of time.
Frequent snacking is tough on the teeth.
For example, if you have an ice coffee with cream and sugar with your breakfast and you finish it in a short amount of time then you only have water until lunch, then your healthy PH would be from, lets say 8 AM to 12 PM. However, if you make your ice coffee last from 8 AM to 12 PM and you have a sip every 20 minutes or so you don't allow your saliva to get out of the acidic state. Now don't get me wrong I too am guilty of making am ice coffee last for 4 hours....I'm not some kind of monster that gulps a coffee! So what's the take away? TRY to limit between meal snacking and drinks other than water to let the acid levels come down. It's not just the quality of the foods containing sugars we eat but the frequency.