Teeth are not only functional; they are an important part of your appearance. While the basic function of teeth is to break down food so it’s ready for digestion, there’s no denying clean teeth and fresh breath can make a good impression.
While it doesn’t take much to keep your teeth clean and healthy, it does take more than a quick swish of a brush to keep them nice and shiny.
If you think you don’t have time to floss every day, or see your dentist once or twice a year, you can’t just expect an unwelcome amount of decay, but your teeth and gums will also age much faster than you may like.
Below are some of the must-dos to keep your teeth health and looking their best.
Don’t forget to floss
You know you should floss, but is it really that important? Well, yes. Brushing your teeth only gets rid of the food and plaque on your teeth, not between your teeth, which is the job of floss.
When this plaque builds up, it’s hard to see as it’s wedged between the teeth – so you often only know it’s there when it starts causing you some major problems.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria continually forming on teeth and gums. Every time you have a snack, the bacteria use sugars from food and drinks to multiply.
Directly after you eat, the bacteria release an acid that attacks tooth enamel (which is why your dentist may have told you to not brush your teeth straight after dinner).
If you don’t brush and floss to get rid of the plaque, this can cause the enamel to weaken and eventually cause tooth decay.
Plaque also produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, tender or bleed easily. After a while, gums may also start to pull away from the teeth and make little pockets of bacteria and pus.
If you don’t get this treated, your teeth may become loose or even have to be removed. The gums can also start to recede, which is a very obvious sign of ageing.
The experts at Bond Street Dental always say the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is by following these six easy steps:
• Eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar
• Keep acidic food and drinks, such as soft drinks, juice and sports drinks, to a minimum
• Drink lots of fluoridated water
• Brush your teeth twice a day – and make sure you use a soft-bristled brush and a toothpaste containing fluoride
• Clean between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners (a small brush used for cleaning between teeth).
• Get regular check-ups every 6-12 months.
Dental sealants, a plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of your back molars (the prime suspects for starting decay) are also available.
Protecting your teeth, the sealant is also an effective way to prevent plaque.
Seeing a dentist regularly is important, particularly as there are new materials available to repair your teeth – so you may not even need a filling.
New creams and applications can remineralize the tooth – only if the decay is caught soon enough, though – and prevent you from needing fillings.
Malo Clinic has all the facilities to be able to treat and repair any tooth decay issues, from the smallest niggle to the slightly bigger problems.
Teeth sensitivity a common problem with people over the age of 40.
Caused by hot, cold and/or sweet foods, it’s a short pain, like an electric shock, originating where the gum meets the tooth.
Hot, cold and sweet foods cause fluid movement in the tubules – small nerve channels – which lie exposed on the tooth’s gum margin of the tooth that have a connection with the tooth nerve.
This is more pronounced as we get older because our gums have a tendency to recede.
To treat teeth sensitivity, chemical and physical barriers are used to block the tubules and stop the connection to the nerve being made.
So what’s the best way to brush your teeth?
• Place your brush at a 45-degree angle against the gums and gently brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes
• Brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth
• Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath
• Proper brushing should take at least two minutes
• Replace your brush about every three months and after you have been sick to prevent reinfection
So remember, it is very important to visit the dentist regularly, maintain a healthy diet, brush and floss twice a day and limit sugar intake.
Adults need to avoid smoking and limit their caffeine intake, while remaining vidual about the care and protection of your teeth.
These steps will ensure the next generation grows up with healthy and strong teeth, just as you have.