The beginning of a year always holds so much promise and a lot of people find it a good time to hit the reset button and start anew. The first half of January is almost over, how are your New Year’s resolutions holding up? For us here at Dr. Michael’s, we encourage you to include improving your oral hygiene habits in your 2014 list.
Taking good care of your teeth and gums is important to your overall health. You’ve probably heard this before, but it cannot be said enough. Although tooth decay is largely preventable, it remains to be the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults worldwide. A study conducted among UAE residents showed that almost half of those surveyed only visit their dentist when in pain and over 20% only visit their dentist once each year. Research held by SEHA, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, says tooth decay affects more than 80% of the UAE population and 64% of schoolchildren show signs of tooth decay due of poor dental hygiene.
Aside from brushing and flossing your teeth and regular visits to your dentist, here are 10 tips on how to power up your oral care habits.
Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper. The grooves and ridges on your tongue trap and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Drink plenty of water. Water helps rinse away residual sugars in your mouth that can cause tooth decay.
Rinse. If it is not possible to brush after eating sweets, rinse your mouth with plain water. This can reduce the bacterial level by 30%.
Stay away from acidic drinks like sports and energy drinks and soft drinks. These beverages have high levels of acidity which damages the enamel of the teeth.
Wait for at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth. Brushing, particularly within 20 minutes of finishing a meal, can actually drive acid deeper into your teeth.
Use an antibacterial alcohol-free mouthwash to eliminate harmful bacteria associated with plaque and gum disease.
Stick to a healthy diet. A diet high in carbohydrates and low in water intake will increase the formation of plaque.
For healthy gums, ensure adequate intake of Vitamin C. Consult your doctor or dentist for a brand and/or product strength that is right for you.
Don’t use your teeth to do odd jobs like uncapping a bottle of nail polish, ripping price tags off a piece of clothing or tearing open a bag of chips.
If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth, see your dentist.