Tips for Protecting Your Teeth After the Silly Season!
‘Twas the season to be jolly! And for many of us it included indulging in all the traditional Christmas foods and drinks – from champagne to pavlova and hot chocolate to trifle. Yum!
But now that it’s January and we can no longer use the festive season to justify all that sugar intake (don’t worry – Easter isn’t far away!), why not check out these oral health tips to help get your pearly whites back into tip-top shape.
New year… new toothbrush!
When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? You should be replacing your brush every three to four months, or more frequently if the bristles begin to look frayed. So let the start of the new year remind you to get a new toothbrush and make sure you have floss handy.
All About Timing
The amount of sugar exposure in your mouth is the biggest factor for the development of cavities. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugars, the higher the chance cavities will develop. Although Christmas is in the past, it’s still a good idea to keep your toothbrush handy when socialising over summer. Maybe you can squeeze in some quick brushes between meals, treats and drinks!
It’s best to brush your teeth 30 minutes to 1 hour after eating or drinking anything sugary or acidic. That’s because, initially, your tooth enamel is weakened and softened by acid. Waiting 30 minutes to an hour to brush gives your tooth enamel a chance to recover and strengthen. If you brush too soon, you will be brushing away weakened tooth enamel.
Toothbrushing is the most effective way to protect your teeth and keep them healthy. Brush your teeth at least twice-a-day and floss once-a-day. If you are out and about, pack a travel toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste so you can freshen up wherever you are.
Remember to Floss
Toothbrushing is very effective on the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth but you need to floss to clean IN BETWEEN the teeth. We tend to eat more sugary treats than usual at Christmas time, so it’s even more important to remember to clean your teeth. You’ll be surprised by how much foodstuff is removed when you floss!
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is great for your oral hygiene, as it helps wash sugars, food bits and acids from our mouth. Stay hydrated!
Watch the Wine
Red wine stains teeth. White wine less so. If you drink red, drink it with food tooth-friendly foods, like vegetables and cheese to keep it from staining your teeth and brush well afterwards. Eating cheese with your alcoholic drinks also helps to neutralise any wine acids. Your teeth will thank you for it!
Here are a few ways you can help combat the damaging effects of acid on your teeth if you are consuming acid-rich food and drinks:
- Use a straw when drinking acidic beverages
- Drink water after consuming acidic foods to help wash away bacteria
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating to remove bacteria
- Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, after eating or drinking acidic products, to avoid brushing away the acid-weakened enamel
- Rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking alcoholic beverages helps wash away acid and bacteria to avoid them building up on teeth
Now that we’re in a new year, there’s no better time to get a head start on your health insurance benefits. To book your scale and clean appointment and to get your oral hygiene off to a great start in 2022, contact our friendly staff at Superior Smiles to book your appointment.