Brushing Your Teeth Twice a Day:
The first step of any effective oral hygiene routine is brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes. Most dentists recommend that you brush in the morning before eating breakfast and at night right before you go to bed so that Saliva has enough time to remineralize your teeth overnight after exposure to dietary acids throughout the day.
Recent research states, “Saliva provides a natural defense mechanism for the oral cavity by constantly bathing the teeth in a protective remineralizing fluid… The fluoride ion present in Saliva can help prevent decay. Saliva contains calcium, phosphate, and proteins incorporated into the dental hydroxyapatite crystal as it forms.”
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Flossing is another critical part of an effective oral hygiene routine because it removes plaque from between your teeth that toothbrushes can’t reach. Some studies have even found that flossing may be even more effective at preventing gum disease than brushing alone because floss can dislodge food particles and plaque beyond where your brush bristles can reach, which allows your gums to heal faster overtime after being swollen or irritated from periodontal disease.
According to the American Dental Association: “Daily flossing removes plaque from tooth surfaces and between teeth, where brushing cannot reach. Besides, flossing undercuts food particles stuck between your teeth, helping prevent cavities.”
Drinking Lots of Water To Keep Your Mouth From Getting Dry and Brittle:
Drinking lots of water helps moisturize the mouth by keeping saliva production strong throughout the day so that it can wash away acids formed by bacteria when they break down sugars in your mouth. Suppose your mouth is dry or brittle because you aren’t drinking enough water daily. In that case, it makes it easier for acid erosion to damage tooth enamel because there won’t be as much protectant saliva to re-harden your teeth after exposure to dietary acids.
Eating Healthy Foods That Help Strengthen Your Teeth:
According to research, healthy foods can strengthen tooth enamel over time because they contain calcium and phosphorus, which help protect the outer layer of your teeth from decay by forming a mineralized barrier that can reverse early signs of decline in its earliest stages before it becomes cavities. Some examples include leafy greens, carrots, apples, pears, broccoli, salmon, sardines, etc.
Here is an interesting quote about why these foods are so good for you: “Fruits and vegetables are important sources of nutrients necessary for maintaining oral health… High fruit and vegetable consumption promotes remineralization and reduces demineralization in teeth… Carrots contain a particularly high concentration of calcium phosphate, and calcium and phosphate help restore the mineral content in an enamel dissolved by acids.”
Using Natural Toothpastes or Mouthwash With Fluoride To Avoid Unnatural Chemicals:
Avoiding fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash when you buy them at your local grocery store because they may use harsh chemicals like glycerine, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), polyethylene, propylene glycol, and even diethanolamine (DEA), which have a link to cancer through past studies. Also, avoid using whitening toothpaste with hydrogen peroxide because it can encourage tiny holes to form in your enamel over time.
Avoiding Drugs That Make Your Mouth Dry and Brittle:
Medications with antihistamines, diuretics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, diabetes medications, and even some antibiotics can decrease saliva flow, making it harder for your mouth to re-harden the outer layer of your teeth after exposure to dietary acids because it doesn’t have enough Saliva. The result is tooth erosion which may cause permanent damage if not treated by a dentist. This includes getting an evaluation for dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia), which many people don’t know they have until irreversible signs of tooth decay start appearing on their teeth.
According to one: “Although several mechanisms could explain the increased risk of dental erosion among salivary hypofunction patients, reduced protection against acidic beverages by Saliva is the most likely mechanism. Saliva secretion is vital for maintaining enamel integrity because it provides continuously released minerals to effectively neutralize acids.”
Avoiding Dental Fillings Containing Mercury:
Avoid silver dental fillings made with mercury because, according to one study, “Once amalgam enters the oral cavity, it releases mercury which quickly becomes converted into inorganic mercury, accumulates in tissues, and bioaccumulates rapidly.” According to another study: “Conclusions: The results might be due to both elemental and ionic Hg released from dental amalgams and iron deficiency. Elemental Hg vapor knows to form Hg-protein complexes that get deposited in the brain. In iron deficiency, less metalloprotein is available for forming such complexes.”
Avoiding Alcohol and Tobacco Use:
Avoiding tobacco can contribute to tooth erosion by increasing plaque acidity and decreasing saliva flow. Also, avoid alcohol consumption in excess because consuming more than one drink a day may damage your teeth so much that they must replace with crowns to protect them from further damage after consulting with a dentist or periodontist.
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