You maintain your car, but do you maintain your mouth? Here are five basic mouth maintenance tips to remember.
Brushing and Flossing
Regular brushing and flossing does more than just eliminate bad breath and keep your teeth gleaming. This is according to a 2006 study commissioned by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). The study revealed some surprising benefits of regular brushing. For instance, regular brushing and flossing can prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), promote weight loss, boost memory among senior citizens and prevent pregnancy gingivitis. Moreover, a 2011 British study established a link between gum disease and erectile dysfunction (ED), which means regular brushing and flossing could prevent ED.
The America Dental Association (ADA) says that high-sugar foods are bad for your oral health because they promote plaque buildup in the mouth, which eventually causes tooth decay. Examples of such foods include and sugary snacks and junk food. Additionally, such foods typically lack certain nutrients that promote oral health by fighting dental infections. For these reasons, your diet should consist of foods from each of the five major food groups. Examples of foods that promote good oral health include celery, apples, yogurt, almonds, carrots, leafy greens and cheese.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sweetened beverages are among the leading dietary causes of tooth decay, according to Colgate. Specifically, these drinks provide the harmful bacteria in the mouth with sugar. The bacteria use the sugar to produce energy and in the process release acid as a byproduct. The acid ultimately causes myriad dental problems including plaque buildup, enamel erosion, dental cavities and halitosis. For these reasons, you should avoid sweetened and carbonated beverages, including “sugar-free” soda.
Made of plastic materials, dental sealants cover the chewing (occlusal) surfaces of permanent molars and premolars, which appear at age six or thereabout. In essence, they protect the back teeth from dental problems including dental caries and tooth decay.
Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it less susceptible to tooth decay. For this reason, you should brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste. Equally important, ensure you use the right amount of toothpaste — a pea-sized amount should be sufficient.
Dental sealants, fluoridated toothpaste and eating healthy promote good oral hygiene. Additionally, you should brush/floss regularly and avoid sweetened drinks.