You know that brushing and flossing regularly help you keep your teeth and gums healthy, but did you know your eating and drinking habits can have an affect on your dental hygiene regimen?
It’s not so much the amount of sugary food and drink you take in, it’s how often you eat and drink them. You need to watch consumption of snacks and drinks throughout the day rather than worrying only about the sugars in your main meals. Take note mentally or on a pad of paper and see how it adds up.
Even if your snacking is made up of healthy foods, know most fruit is acidic (especially citrus fruit). The acid will normally be neutralized by your saliva — but not if you have one snack after the other, so don’t eat constantly throughout the day. This acid can dissolve dental enamel and cause numerous problems from sensitive teeth to cavities.
Tooth erosion is caused when fizzy drinks, juice or anything acidic dissolves the enamel on your teeth. Sugar-free options are often just as damaging — especially for your front teeth if you sip throughout the day from a glass or can. While calcium in milk or cheese helps replace the calcium lost caused by erosion, you shouldn’t count on it to protect you completely!
Sugar in any drink will constantly refuel plaque bacteria that convert sugar into acid — leading to tooth loss or decay.
Tannin in drinks like tea and coffee can stain your teeth. Even your regular coffee breaks affect how white your teeth will look. So take it easy on the morning joe if you can!
- Brush your tongue during your regular brushings — it clears out more bacteria from your mouth.
- Morning breath is caused because you produce less saliva to naturally wash out your mouth when you sleep, so floss in the morning to get every crevice cleaned out.
- Drinking water helps reduce the amount of bacteria lingering in your mouth.
- Sugar-free gum encourages saliva production (which neutralize acids left in your mouth), but it cannot replace a proper brushing and flossing regime twice a day.
Keeping teeth bright and strong takes more than just brushing, so be sure to pass on all your knowledge to the household for a family full of shining smiles.