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Looking after your dental health
The body’s natural defenses, together with brushing, flossing and a good diet, helps teeth deal with the bacteria in our mouths. However when sugary foods and drinks are consumed together with poor dental habits, then our oral health may suffer.
Good oral hygiene extends beyond cavities and gum disease. Poor oral health may affect speech, cause infections or diseases and may even have a role in how confident we feel.1
Here are a few tips that will help you and your family have a healthy smile:
Brushing too vigorously or using a hard toothbrush can be harsh on your teeth and gums. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles instead, as this can be a more gentle option for your teeth and gums without causing damage. Brushing too hard or with hard bristles may cause you to have receding gums and sensitivity to cold and hot liquids.2 It is also best to choose a toothbrush that has a compact head, which allows for better maneuvering and gets to those hard to reach places.
How to brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes helps with the effective removal of plaque and bacteria build up. Only a pea sized amount of toothpaste is needed, since a larger amount of toothpaste will cause the need to spit earlier than the 2 minutes required to clean teeth thoroughly. Start with the outside of the upper teeth, then the outside of the bottom teeth, then follow by the top and bottom inside teeth, chewing areas and also scrape the tongue.3
Flossing is as important as brushing, as the toothbrush can only reach the surfaces of the teeth, however food can also get stuck between the teeth. The build up of bacteria may cause enamel damage and also receding of the gum, causing gingivitis.4
Diet can be a contributing factor to poor oral health, as the snacks you consume can be a problem when it comes to tooth decay. When a larger meal is eaten, more saliva is formed, washing the food away from the teeth. Another factor to consider is the snacks you consume, as they can be higher in sugar. Sugary foods and drinks allow the bacteria on the teeth to react with the sugars in what you consumed, which then produce an acid, starting the process of tooth decay.5
Drinking water when you have a meal is a good habit. Water will help not only wash down food, but will also neutralise the acids produced by the food consumed.
Blog post written by Complete Corporate Wellness. Visit their website: www.completecorporatewellness.com.au
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “Oral health and dental care in Australia”, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, aihw.gov.au/reports/dental-oral-health/oral-health-and-dental-care-in-australia
- Grant McGrath, “Hard vs soft toothbrushes”, Method Dental, methoddental.com.au/hard-vs-soft-toothbrushes
- Mouth Healthy, “How to Brush your teeth”, Mouth Healthy, mouthhealthy.org/brushing-your-teeth
- Mayo Clinic, “Gingivitis”, Mayo Clinic, mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gingivitis/symptoms-causes/gingivitis-is-a-common-and-the-base-of-your-teeth
- Maroubra Dental Avenue, “Why is sugar destroying your teeth”, Maroubra Dental Avenue, maroubradentalavenue.com.au/why-sugar-is-destroying-your-teeth
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