5 Tips for Preventative Care: Sugar and Your Teeth

With Halloween and all things sweet and spooky hot on our heels we feel it is a great time to help you and your family stay focused on preventative dental care. This post will talk about the top 5 ways you can prevent cavities and dental issues from home. These are not new tips by any means, but they are great reminders!

 We all know brushing twice daily is a good habit to be in, but a better habit is to brush after each meal. This can be challenging if you work out of your home, or if you are eating through out the day. So our quick tip is going to focus on ways you can sneak a quick bush in here and there.

  1. Carry the finger brushes with you. They are disposable and you can brush quick while in the rest room before returning to work.
  2. Keep a soft bristle brush in your desk, and pop in to the restroom after lunch but before returning to work for a quick freshen up.

Flossing: why is it important?

It helps clean that little gap between your soft tissue (gums) and your teeth that can be a food trap if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have receding gums. Why don’t we floss more? Most people forget about flossing because it is awkward or uncomfortable. So a quick tip to make it easier, try the flossers they sell in the tooth paste section at the grocery store. These are handy disposable flossers making it so you don’t have to fit your hand in your mouth to reach those so important back teeth.

One way to make it less uncomfortable is don’t use so much pressure. The floss is meant to do the job, so leave the muscles at the door. You don’t need to draw blood to know you did a good job. A gentle back and forth motion and and gentle up and down motion is all you need to help keep those nooks and crannies of the mouth clean and clear of decay causing bacteria.

Flossing also helps to toughen up your gum tissue so when you come for a dental visit you have less pain and discomfort.

If you are not a big water drinker, we understand. It can get a bit boring to always drink water, but at the end of the day water is the best thing for your teeth. Why? It is the only drink on the market that has no added sugar and no chemicals that can brake down your enamel or soft tissues.

Water is a great tool to use between your brushing and flossing sessions too. Swishing with water after a snack or a meal can help prevent food build up as the swishing motion can knock loose food chunks free and prevent them from building up. It is important for us to note that water in it self does not prevent bacteria or decay. For those that are candy eaters through out the day, swishing with water helps remove sugar build up on the enamel that can be damaging to your tooth structure.

Rinsing with mouthwash containing fluoride, on the other hand, does prevent decay and bacteria build up. Some bacteria is good and is a necessary part of the digestive process. But the right mouth wash will kill off the bad bacteria that eats enamel and soft tissue leaving the good bacteria for proper digestion. Most dentists recommend swishing with this type of mouth wash once a day, but the more you do it the better it is with in reason. So we say you have to swish after brushing anyway, so it may as well be with something that will help reinforce that clean feeling and protect your teeth at the same time. So swish after each brush.

Last but not least regular dental visits help prevent tooth decay, tarter build up, and periodontal disease. Insurance companies say regular visits are once every 6 months. But we say a regular visit is as often as you feel like you need a detailed clean.

For some that is every 3 months as opposed to every 6. For those keeping up with the at home care between meals and before bed come in for a cleaning and leave smiling with no surprises. The reason preventative care at home helps is because there is less harmful damaging bacteria to remove when you come for a visit. Preventative home care allows for better dental health year round as opposed to 2 or 4 days a year (depending on your visit frequency). A regular dental visit should be pain free and stress free. 

At the end of the day the goal is to avoid sugar, and keep your mouth free of food debris.

If this article was helpful, please stop by our office and say hello! We would love to meet you!