Good oral hygiene is essential to keep your gums and teeth healthy. You need to form the habit of brushing your teeth at least twice a day and going for dental checkups regularly. Oral health is much more than gum disease and cavities. Research studies have shown that there is a close link between a person’s oral health and overall health.
Health experts have reported that oral health issues are a health burden in the world. When left untreated, gum problems and tooth decay can lead to tooth loss, pain, and low self-confidence. Such issues might lead to speech problems, malnutrition, and challenges in personal life, work, and school. You can prevent these problems by taking care of your teeth and visiting the dentist regularly. Here are five things that you should avoid to prolong the existence of your teeth.
1. Hard candies
Hard candies seem harmless. However, they are among the culprits that cause dental decay. Sucking candy for a long time coats teeth with sugar. And that’s one of the best ways to harm your teeth. Hard candies can damage your teeth because they can break or chip your teeth when biting.
Therefore, if you have a sweet tooth, you should always go to the soft one. Always drink a glass of water after eating candy to flush out excess sugar from your teeth. This is important especially when you can’t brush your teeth afterward immediately. The same applies to all sugary foods and drinks that you consume.
2. Saltines and crackers
Saltines and crackers contain refined carbs that convert to sugar when you chew them. And they lead to cavities due to bacteria that love sugar. Additionally, crackers create a buildup on the premolars and molars. If you consume crackers regularly, you should consider switching to softer carbs.
3. Citrus fruits
Regular exposure to acidic foods can erode the enamel. This erosion makes the teeth susceptible to discoloration and decays over time. While drinking lemon water has lots of benefits, it’s not always good for your teeth. The acidity in the fruits can irritate the gums and lead to painful sores in your mouth. You should limit fruits and juices that contain acid. If you decide to indulge, ensure that you rinse your mouth or drink a glass of water thereafter.
4. Sticky foods
Dried foods are delicious. However, their sticky residue can lead to poor oral health including cavities. Sticky foods destroy teeth and are difficult to eliminate than non-sticky foods. If you want to consume dried fruit or candies, you should rinse your mouth with water thoroughly.
5. Tea or coffee with sugar
Before adding sugar to tea or coffee, you should try consuming its natural form. When you add sugar, it becomes unhealthy and promotes cavities. Drinking tea or coffee regularly can stain your teeth. Additionally, caffeinated tea or coffee can lead to dry mouth and dehydration. Therefore, you should consider having a glass of water after drinking coffee or tea.
Tips to promote oral health
1. Brush your teeth regularly
Most people know that they need to brush their teeth twice a day to eliminate plaque and bacteria and keep their gums and teeth clean. However, brushing is a good practice when you use the right technique. You should brush your teeth in small circular motions to brush every area of the teeth. This process should take around two to three minutes.
You should avoid back and forth motions. Brushing hard or using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage the gums and enamel. The effects of this include permanent damage to the enamel, tooth sensitivity, and erosion of the gums. You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles and change it after three months when the ends start looking weak.
2. Use fluoride
Fluoride is extracted from fluorine – an element in the earth’s soil. Most experts believe that fluoride prevents tooth cavities. And it’s an essential ingredient in mouthwash and toothpaste. You’ll find dental products that don’t contain fluoride. A lack of fluoride can cause tooth decay.
Most communities in the world have added fluoride to their waters. And these efforts have been supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. You can find out if the water in your area contains fluoride by asking the local health authorities. If you use well water, you’ll have to check the level of fluoride in water to determine how much is there.
3. See your dentist regularly
Health experts recommend that everyone should see a dentist after every six months. During your dental examination, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. The dentist will check for signs of gum disease, cavities, cancer, and other health issues.
Adolescents and young kids should see a doctor after every six months to prevent oral health issues. However, adults who follow the tips that we’ve discussed can go less frequently due to the low risk of oral health problems. How often you visit your dentist will be determined by your age and health history.
4. Avoid smoking
Smoking weakens your immune system and makes it difficult for your body to heal tissues in different parts of your body. Many health organizations have linked smoking to gum disease. People who smoke have a high chance of experiencing slow healing after a procedure. Smoking affects your mouth’s appearance by discoloring your tongue and teeth; not to forget the bad odor.
5. Use a mouthwash
Various studies have shown that mouthwashes can improve oral health. For example, one study found that mouthwash containing antibacterial ingredients helps in controlling gingivitis and plaque. Mouthwashes have essential oils which are effective in maintaining oral health. You need to consult your dentist before investing in mouthwash to make the right decision. Mouthwashes prevent dental problems and bad breath.
Now you know the five things that you should avoid to prolong the existence of your teeth. It’s important to practice dental care to keep your gums and teeth healthy in the long run. Eating a healthy diet, avoiding nicotine, and going for dental checkups regularly will improve your overall health in the long run.