It’s not a secret that every dentist likes it when you brush and floss. Hopefully you follow their recommendations for keeping your teeth healthy, but there are more habits you can have during your day to help you achieve better oral health, and help you prevent cavities, keep your breath smelling good and lower your risk of long-term issues like gum disease.
Here’s what dentists report to us that they do every day.
1. Drink Water
“I drink fluoridated water. Which is a natural tooth protector,” one dentist said. “There are benefits of fluoridated water, one being that they cause your teeth to be more resistant to the acid that leads to cavities.”
If you don’t want to drink tap water all the time, consider making some of the water you drink from the tap.
Water itself — from the tap or not — is helpful in protecting your teeth clean because it removes leftover food. Also, a dry mouth feeds bacteria that leads to tooth decay.
2. Lick Your Teeth
Take a moment to run your tongue over your teeth. Is there some film on top? That is plaque that’s been forming through your day.
When dentists feel this at midday, they remove the “furry stuff” by brushing their teeth.
3. Munch on Crunch
Find and eat crunchy fruits and veggies, Marc Lowenberg, DDS in New York City, says.
“These foods help to remove the bacterial plaque that is on your teeth and causes decay and disease. Celery and Apple are among my favorites, but anything that ‘crunches’ can help your teeth,” he says.
4. Snack on Nuts
Chewing helps cause saliva production, one dentist says. And remember, it is this saliva that helps in maintaining a clean mouth.
We know foods low in carbs won’t add to your risk of getting cavities.
That’s why dentists suggest nuts as among the best snacks for your smile: They are low in carbs, plus they have a great grouping of protein, fiber and fat to help you feel full — so you are not reaching for a sugary snack throughout your day.
Sugar-free chewing gum that has xylitol has the additional perk of helping to guard your smile by creating more saliva and strengthening your teeth.
Dentists choose gums that have gotten the ADA’s Seal of approval, which includes sugar-free gums from Orbit, Eclipse, Trident, and Ice Breakers.
Author: Blake Ambrose