Brush, floss, rinse. Pretty simple routine. But most people don’t actually follow it, even if their dentist repeatedly beg them to do so. I got into the habit young, I can’t sleep without flossing – which is the worst thing if you’ve been on a plane for 16 hours and you have to unpack your toothbrush before you can fall into the comfort and safety of your own bed.
Even if you do brush your teeth, there are certain parameters people simply aren’t meeting.
To care for your teeth, you need to:
- Floss once daily – if you don’t floss, you miss about 20% of your teeth’s surface and are letting bad bacteria breed in the crevices – creating hard to reach cavities.
- Brush your teeth twice a day, making sure to brush your gums and tongue – make sure you brush your gums gently to stimulate blood flow to your mouth for healthy gums. Brushing your tongue helps remove that white film from your tongue (bacteria)
- Not eat or drink anything before or after you brush for at least half an hour: to protect your enamel – acids in food can make your enamel weak and then you brush it off. If you brush your teeth and then eat, you’re at risk for staining your teeth. (Tooth friendly foods list: here)
- Tongue scrubbing (get one of those tongue-specific scrapers) – really get all that bacteria off your tongue.
Benefits of Brushing
Researchers show that dedicated oral hygiene can improve your quality of life and increase your lifespan.
To get these benefits you need to visit a dentist every six months for a cleaning. Not only does it keep your teeth squeaky clean, it provides a refresher on how to clean your teeth and gives you a head’s up on any warning signs you might need to take heed of.
For other health benefits of brushing, check out these articles:
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Bad Breath Is A Health Concern
No, not because it’s disgusting and no one wants to talk to you, but because it can be indicative of serious health problems in the future. It can be signs of the following four health concerns.
Cavities are typically associated with too much sugar and not enough flossing. But they can also be signs of something more worrisome.
A lack of moisture in the mouth creates an environment that’s ripe for tooth decay. Our saliva plays an important role in removing bacteria and food debris from our teeth while mediating the pH balance in our mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, you should speak to your dentist or a doctor.
And make sure to get those cavities filled as soon as you know about them. Waiting for fillings can be a dangerous game if they become infected – the infection can move into your blood, and that’s a dangerous game.
You can’t reverse cavities, but you can eat foods that help prevent cavities.
Postnasal drip is when too much mucus accumulates in the back of your throat, leaving a breeding ground for bacteria. Gum disease leaves a foul, rotting smell in your mouth and can lead to serious heart problems. Gut bacteria imbalances can be sorted out with fermented foods to create a better balance in your body.
Having gum disease means that whenever you brush your teeth, you get blood in the sink – which puts people off brushing – which makes the condition worse. If left untreated, bacteria accumulates and breaks down the gum tissue and bone around teeth. This can lead to gum recession, bone loss, stained teeth and eventually tooth loss. And again, mouth infection can leak into the blood stream – not a good time.
Find out how to reverse it here
Canker sores and cold sores aren’t really a big deal… so long as they go away within a week or two. If they refuse to heal, or if they are red or white, or they burn that can be a sign of thrush, mouth cancer or foot and mouth disease.
Remember: it only takes 21 days to form a habit, so if you can stick it out for 3 weeks, you won’t be able to remember why you didn’t in the first place.
For other oral health tips: try this article
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