When it comes to oral hygiene, there are many ways to enhance the level of protection you provide your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing every day is important, but did you know that you could protect your smile by eating certain foods that promote oral health? Are you aware of the foods and products you’re using now that are detrimental to your oral health? Your family dentist in Franklin sure is, which is why she’s offering you a few tips to make your at-home oral care better than ever.
Once you include these habits into your routine, you’re guaranteed to impress your dentist by your next visit.
Use More Fluoride Products
When brushing, make sure that the active ingredient in your toothpaste is fluoride. Anything else is purely cosmetic and does not work to remove plaque and prevent tooth decay or gum disease. If you’re looking to add a new habit to your oral care routine, try including a fluoride mouthwash as well.
Fluoride mouth rinses work great to shield your existing tooth enamel and strengthen them against acid-producing oral bacteria. Even some floss products contain fluoride to protect you! For the strongest protection, consider prescription products which can contain more fluoride than products you’d purchase over-the-counter.
Limiting Your Sugar Intake
The more sugar you consume, the more the bad oral bacteria has to produce acid in your mouth, lowering its pH balance. At the beginning of your work week, start taking note of the foods you consume regularly and see if they can be replaced with healthier alternatives. If you start the day with sugar and creamer in your coffee, try reducing the amount you put in each cup. Try replacing your morning granola bar (which can have a significant amount of sugar) with your favorite fruit or another snack with less sugar.
Eating a More Balanced Diet
Speaking of fruit, the benefits of adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is two-fold. Not only are the hard, crunchy traits of apples, carrots, celery, and other foods great for rubbing off plaque, but they promote saliva production. Saliva doesn’t just help you digest food; it also contains proteins and minerals that protect tooth enamel, prevent tooth decay, and stop gum disease. After eating a balance meal, chew sugarless gum to kickstart saliva production.
Quitting Tobacco Use for Good
At this point, we understand the harmful effects tobacco has on your teeth and gums. Most people know that it contributes heavily to gum disease and yellows teeth, but it also causes chronic dry mouth. This creates a very favorable breeding ground for bad oral bacteria to thrive.
If you have trouble quitting on your own, ask your general practitioner or dentist in Franklin about the best ways to quit. Have friends or family you frequently spend time with hold you accountable if you relapse. Be sure to tell them ahead of time that you won’t be annoyed when they try to stop you from smoking.
Want more tips on protecting your teeth with more than just brushing and flossing? Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to learn more and receive a truly professional cleaning!
About the Author
Dr. Paige Prather earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. After completing her one-year dental residency at the Dayton Veterans Hospital, she opened her general practice and continued pursuing many hours of advanced dental education to provide patients the best dental care possible. To learn more about her preventive treatments and practice, contact your family dentist in Franklin at (615) 771-2151 or visit her website.