This week I would like to present to my readers a short list of tips to help keep your mouth and teeth healthy.  Tips like this are an integral part of the care that the hygiene team in my office offers to our patients on a routine basis.  Follow these simple tips and watch your dental and general health improve:

North York-Family-Dentist

  • Floss once a day before brushing to loosen and remove plaque in between your teeth
  • Brush 2x/day for at least 2 minutes
  • Always use soft bristles
  • Never “scrub” when brushing as this can push gums away and cause receding gums, root
  • Aim toothbrush bristles at an angle into the sulcus where your teeth emerge from your gum tissues
  • Light gentle vibrating pressure and proper technique is all you need (see above)
  • In a healthy mouth, mouthwash is rarely needed but if you occasionally like to temporarily freshening your breath, use only mouthwash without alcohol (ex. Listerine Zero, Crest Pro Health, and Biotene)
  • Massaging your gums with rubber tips, Softpics, or electric toothbrushes can help to reduce inflammation and bleeding
  • Limit your dietary intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates; Not only will sugar and simple carbohydrates increase your blood sugar levels, but sugar and simple carbs (which are broken down to sugar in your mouth by salivary enzymes) are consumed by the bacteria on your teeth and these bacteria create acid which when left on your teeth causes tooth decay
  • If you’re going to snack, avoid soft and sticky foods that are high in sugar (ex. Peanut butter, banana, donuts) instead choose snacks such as apples, cheese, celery
  • If you’re going to eat rice, pasta or bread, choose brown or whole wheat; anything white converts into sugar much faster than whole grain products putting stress on your body to control blood sugar levels and increasing sugar loads on your teeth (increasing risk of tooth decay)
  • Limit snacking and keep desserts to mealtimes.  This way your saliva which helps to keep acid levels down, is only challenges 3 times daily rather than multiple times per day
  • If experiencing sensitivity to cold fluids/foods/air use sensitive toothpaste as your regular toothpaste.  It loses its effectiveness if you alternate from regular toothpaste to sensitive toothpaste
  • Keep regular dental appointment to have your mouth checked for gum disease, mouth cancer, tooth decay, and more.  Many oral (mouth) conditions progress silently until extensive damage has occurred.  By seeing your dentist or hygienist a minimum of every 6 months, your mouth can be thoroughly assessed and any problems can be caught early and treatment rendered to prevent further progression.  This is what preventive dentistry is all about!!