Dentist Scott Makiol gives us a few handy tips on taking care of those pearly whites.
Brushing your Teeth Correctly
Choose a soft toothbrush with a small head. A soft toothbrush is best because the bristles have the flexibility to get into tight spaces.
To brush teeth, aim the bristles at the gum line at a 45 degree angle and move the brush in tiny half-tooth movements using gentle pressure only. Clean the inside and outside of the front and back teeth as well as the biting surfaces of the upper and lower back teeth.
The Importance of Flossing
A toothbrush alone cannot remove plaque from between the teeth. Dental floss is needed to clean these areas.
Use floss once a day to remove plaque from between the teeth. Use enough floss to hold ends comfortably in your hands. Support floss with fingers or thumbs held close together. Run the floss between the teeth and move up and down on each side of the tooth.
Foods that are Good for our Teeth & Gums
Sugar and starch may increase the likelihood of developing cavities. Vitamins B,
C, D & E can help to keep your gums healthy and fight gingivitis and gum inflammation. These vitamins can be found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Calcium is also very important to maintain healthy teeth and bone. Milk, tofu, soy, nuts, broccoli, kale and spinach are all rich in calcium. Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits help maintain a healthy mouth and decrease the risk of decay.
Keeping Teeth Healthy
· Don’t smoke. Smoking can discolour and weaken your teeth and can also lead to gum disease and oral cancer.
· Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing before bed is especially important as plaque will remain on your teeth for an extended period overnight making you more susceptible to gingivitis and acid damage.
· Eat a balanced diet and limit foods high in sugar
· Ease up on liquids that can stain your teeth such as coffee and tea; swish with water after drinking
· Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports
· Floss daily