Keeping your teeth free from harm this New Year!
It’s a brand new year and we’ve all being making some New Year resolutions; maybe it’s to eat more healthily and do more exercise, maybe it’s to see the positive in things and people; whatever your resolutions are, we’d like you to spare a thought for your teeth. You really would miss them if they disappeared completely.
We all know the basics:-
• Clean your teeth morning and night for 2 minutes each time
• Floss every day
• Use a mouth wash daily
• Visit your dentist every 6 months for check ups and cleaning
But what about the best foods for our teeth? It’s thought that the best food choices for the general health of your mouth include cheeses, milk, chicken and other meats and nuts. These foods are thought to protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to remineralise teeth (a natural process whereby minerals are redeposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).
Other good food options include firm/crunchy fruit and vegetables. Crunchy foods often have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and helps to produce saliva, which can wash away bacteria that cause plaque and to keep the mouth in a less acidic state.
The high level of sugar in your diet is often seen as the main culprit in tooth decay. However, this is not entirely true, it is the frequency that the sugar is consumed, rather than the volume of sugar to blame. This is due to the fact that teeth are under acid attack from sugary food and drinks for up to an hour after you’ve consumed them. Therefore, it is important to limit sugary food and drinks to mealtimes and to not snack on them throughout the day. Drinking water after meals and snacks and chewing sugar-free gum can also eliminate the acid more quickly.
If you have red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or use dental floss then you may have gum disease (gingivitis). Many people worry when they notice their gums are bleeding and may brush more gently or even stop flossing completely. In fact, it’s important to maintain regular cleaning to combat the gum disease. If the bleeding doesn’t stop within a week, then contact your dental practice to ask for their advice.
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