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Quick, Easy Changes that Help Maintain Oral Hygiene

» 25 October 2011 » In Dental News »

Along With Brushing & Flossing, These Habits Help Teeth Stay Healthy and White

How To Keep Teeth Healthy | Dental Health Tips from Arlington Texas Dentist

The best ways to keep teeth healthy and white is by brushing twice daily (at least), flossing regularly, visiting your local dentist office for regular exams, and staying away from sugar. However, even the best of us have sometimes found ourselves skipping a flossing session or struggling to cut sugar out of our diet. While we should always place a high priority on maintaining the healthy, essential habits of brushing, flossing, and eating healthily, not all habits that benefit teeth are difficult to implement. In fact, some changes are relatively easy to adopt and are a useful supplement to regular brushing and flossing (and remember, a soft bristle toothbrush is best!).

Use Straws
Even when drinking hot liquids, use a straw. Put a straw through your coffee drink lid or into directly into your cup of tea in order to ensure that the coffee/tea passes your teeth on the way through your mouth. The less time these liquids stay on your teeth, the less time they have to stain the enamel. Liquids that can easily stain teeth are coffee, tea, red wine, and grape juice. A good rule of thumb: If a liquid stains your clothes, it can stain your teeth! While visiting a dentist for teeth whitening is a convenient option for stained teeth, it’s best to avoid the problem altogether. So, always use a straw to minimize the staining effect.
Look For Gum Containing Xylitol
A natural sweetener used in certain sugarless gums, xylitol helps to fight plaque by creating a hostile environment for harmful bacteria. Ordinary sugars are fuel for bacteria, allowing it to develop faster and produce acid that in turn attacks your dental enamel, leading to dental decay. Xylitol differs from other sugars in that it does not break down into fuel for bacteria so acid production is slowed, delaying the creation of plaque on teeth until the minerals and proteins in saliva have time to repair the enamel and the bacteria is washed out of the mouth. Xylitol has also been found to inhibit bacteria from sticking to enamel. Xylitol is used in gums, dental products, and can even be used as a sugar substitute in cooking. If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after a meal, chew on some xylitol gum and help your mouth out! Also, since every sugarless gum doesn’t use xylitol, be sure to check for it on the ingredients label.
Chew More
The more you chew, the more saliva is produced, which is great because saliva is the mouth’s natural and powerful defense against tooth decay! Saliva not only helps wash away leftover food from the mouth (which decreases the amount of time acids and sugars remain in the mouth and foster harmful bacteria) but also it contains minerals and proteins that fight harmful acids. Crunchy, firm foods, like apples or celery help because they are high in water content and require a great deal more chewing to swallow in comparison to other foods.
Eat Sugar Fast
If you can’t avoid sugar completely, eat it quickly! The harm sugar does to your teeth doesn’t depend on how much you eat, but rather on how long it remains in your mouth. So it is far better to eat an ice cream cone in 10 minutes than drink a large soda over a few hours. If sugar is only consumed a couple times a day, then saliva is usually capable of neutralizing the damaging effects of bacteria and acids. However, since most people consume sugar continuously throughout the day, saliva production cannot keep up with the demand. Even if you stay away from candy or soda, sugar is also found in high quantities in dried fruits, starchy foods like bread and pasta, and energy and sports drinks. So be aware, eat sugars and starches fast, and be ready to rinse them down with a glass of water or have a toothbrush at the ready!
Don’t Be Discouraged
While you may think that adding anything else to your oral hygiene habits of brushing, flossing, and dentist office visitations is out of the question, the above suggestions are simple and easy to adopt, with some very beneficial results. Not every health consideration has to be an immense sacrifice – these are some that only require a little bit of thought and effort and will immediately assist your mouth with protecting your teeth and maintaining a bright smile.
Dallas Dental Office News Update, By Dallas Texas Dentist, William H. Miller
Woodhill Medical Park, 8305 Walnut Hill Lane, Suite 235, Dallas, Texas, 75231
Phone: (214) 692-1050

Dr. Miller

About WILLIAM MILLER

Dr. William H. Miller, D.M.D. has been practicing dentistry in Texas since 1985. For over 30 years, he has had a passion for personalized, quality care dentistry. He has been in the DFW area his entire career and is conveniently located on Walnut Hill Lane across from Presbyterian Hospital in North Dallas. His office offers a wide range of dental services that include crowns, bridges, implant services, dentures, root canals, fillings, cosmetic dentistry and other restorative procedures. [more]

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