By Guest Author Dr. Joseph Zelig
Having healthy teeth is something most people want, yet most seem to be challenged when it comes to keeping their teeth healthy. Everyone enjoys flashing a friendly smile with shiny white teeth, and no one wants to worry about decay, gaps, yellowing, or missing teeth. In addition, these problems as well as tooth decay and cavities may be indicators of other health problems too.
These 5 Major Don’t s When It Comes to Oral Care will help you keep your pearly whites shining bright.
Some of these are common sense while others might surprise you.
Don’t eat so many sweets! And limit coffee and tea!
You may remember your mom or dad, as they watched you brush your teeth, telling you to brush not only the tops, front and outside of your teeth, but also the inside (near your tongue) as well. Don’t forget those words of wisdom.
It’s extremely important to remember that sugary substances and drinks like coffee and tea coat the inside surface of your teeth as well as the other parts. Brushing all tooth surfaces regularly keeps decay and cavities away. Be sure to also brush at least 2 times a day, preferably at night and in the morning.
Brushing your teeth is step 1. Equally important is step 2: flossing. While brushing removes the liquids and food from the exposed surfaces of your teeth, flossing removes food particles from the spaces between your teeth. Food particles not only cause decay and cavities, but also cause gum irritation and gum disease. If flossing is something you don’t do, chances are your gums are going to be very sensitive.
Don’t forget your tongue!
If you have bad breath, chances are it starts with your tongue.
Your tongue is covered in bacteria because everything you eat and drink ends up there too.
That’s why it’s important to clean your tongue every day at the same time you brush your teeth. You do this by brushing it with your toothbrush or wiping it with a special tongue scraper.
Don’t disregard the importance of oral care – Plaque will catch up with you!
Plaque, the buildup of food debris and bacteria on teeth is harmful to teeth and sabotages good oral care. It is remedied in two ways. The first way is by brushing your teeth two times a day. The second way is via your toothpaste and mouthwash. Use toothpaste with fluoride in it because fluoride protects your teeth against plaque. Think of it as armor for your teeth. Also use a mouthwash that contains fluoride to give your teeth an extra layer of protection.
Don’t eat junk and stop smoking!
Diet matters. Like mom and dad always said, “An apple a day keeps the dentist away.” Well, maybe they didn’t say exactly those words but your diet does matter. Try to stay away from soda pop, candy, and other sugary foods and drinks. If you must have a soda or a piece of chocolate, make sure you brush afterward so that the sugar does not stay on your teeth!
The same goes for “staining” liquids like tea and coffee. Even cigarettes, which aren’t healthy for you in other ways, also affect your teeth negatively. They encourage tooth decay and tooth rot because the chemicals in a cigarette weaken the foundation of your teeth.
Dr. Joseph Zelig, D.D.S., is a Board Certified Periodontist and a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. Practicing at Smile in the City located in New York, Dr. Zelig is a periodontist, speaker and educator, offering New York dental implants and other cosmetic dental services.