5 Things to know about your teeth

A marvellous smile takes more than just squeezing paste out of a tube and knowing more about your teeth will keep you smiling long into the future. Take good care of your pearly whites and they will take good care of you.  Here are some facts that you might not have known about your teeth…

1. Your teeth's best friend might not be your toothbrush

A toothbrush and a strand of floss go hand in hand. If it is used often and wisely, it will do wonders for your teeth.

First in line to defend your teeth is commonly found in your mouth every day. Saliva can be perceived as nature’s disinfecting cavity fighter. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars from food and drinks and cause tooth decay. The bacteria (also called plague) stick to your teeth and produce acids that can eat through your teeth’s enamel. Saliva’s job is to rinse your mouth and neutralises that process. Having a dry mouth could hinder the results, so keep a bottle of water handy. It will do your teeth some good.

2. Snacking and sipping may be hurting your teeth

The worst thing to do to your teeth is the continuous snack-snack-snacking or sip-sip-sipping that goes on in offices and schools. The acids created by the bacteria in your mouth, attack all carbohydrate-laden things you swallow. The frequent intake of sugar and other carbs causes a continuous acid attack chipping away at your choppers. To summarise, it is better (for your teeth, at least) to eat big once than to eat a lot of little meals. It is said that the process to clear sugar from the mouth takes about 20 minutes. During that 20 minutes the acid is very active and snacking all day long causes a constant exposure to bad effects. Keep this slogan in mind when snacking - 'Sip all day, risk decay.'

3. Yes, you can get too much fluoride, but…

The naturally occurring mineral fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. That's not disputed.

How much fluoride is too much is the question. Fluoride can be found in a variety of commonly used things, like drinking water, tooth paste, mouthwashes etc. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, a condition that produces cosmetic white spots on teeth. Be careful how much other fluoride you use and keep an eye out for kids. Children up to 3 should use a rice-sized smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Kids from 3-6 should use a pea-sized amount.

4. Toothpaste should be spit out, but not necessarily rinsed away

Be cautious of children swallowing toothpaste - it exposes them to too much fluoride. As the tube says, don't swallow.

Research indicates that it is not necessary to rinse afterward. The longer the fluoride is in contact with your teeth, the greater effect it can have in preventing tooth decay.

The idea behind not rinsing is the same as it is for in-office treatments where dentists apply a fluoride-rich gel, paste, or "varnish" to teeth and often let it sit for approximately 30 minutes.

5. Your teeth can be an indicator of your overall health

One in 7 adults aged 35 to 44 has gum disease. For adults older than 65, that increases to 1 in every 4.

That's a problem, because tooth decay and other infections in the mouth may be associated with health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The people with a higher level of gum disease also have a higher rate of low birth-weight babies and premature births. Oral health is essential to your entire body, so visit the dentist on a regular basis.

Source: webmd.com

Click here for an Online Oral Health Assessment.

Mar2016_Article1.png

Back to Articles
Other Articles