How can we ensure we benefit from good dental health? There are some good common sense steps we all can take to ensure we establish and maintain our dental health. For instance:
— Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Clean between the teeth with dental floss or toothpicks once a day. Do not eat after cleaning teeth at bedtime as salivary flow decreases as we sleep.
— Visit the dentist about every 6 months for a check-up. And seek dentist’s advice before using aesthetic products (e.g: teeth whiteners) that could have a deleterious effect on the teeth.
— Do not nibble food or sip drinks continuously. Allow time between eating occasions for saliva to neutralize acids and repair the teeth.
— People at high risk from tooth wear and erosion should take special precautions, such as:
o decrease frequency and contact with acidic foods and drinks;
o avoid brushing teeth immediately after consuming acidic foods, drinks, citrus fruits and juices. This allows time for remineralisation to occur.
Fluoride mouthwashes and sugar-free chewing gum may be useful after taking acidic food or drinks as they encourage remineralisation. Sugar-free chewing gum can also helps increase saliva flow and clears food debris from the mouth..
And it is never too early to begin caring for your dental health:
— Start dental care early, brush baby’s teeth with a fluoride toothpaste as soon as they appear in the mouth. Do not habitually allow infants to fall asleep while drinking from a bottle of milk, formula, juice or sweetened drink. These sweet liquids pool around the baby’s teeth for long periods of time and can lead to “baby bottle tooth decay”.
Good dental health is essential to your overall health, researchers have found. The few common sense steps listed above will help you establish and maintain your oral health at an optimum level.