Australia, we’re disappointed in you.
With recent reports that only half of all Aussies find enough time to brush their teeth twice a day, it’s no surprise that tooth decay has seen a resurgence in the country.
But brushing your teeth is just one part of the equation. While half of Australia finds the time to brush twice a day, according to the same study 90% of Australians still develop some sort of tooth decay!
While you might be brushing twice a day, you mightn’t necessarily be brushing properly.
So, how are you meant to brush properly? Dental Care Group’s Armadale dentists lend their advice!
Brush your mouth properly (as well as your teeth!)
Yes, you read that right!
When most of us brush, we focus solely on our teeth. However, our teeth aren’t the only things in our mouths.
When brushing, be sure to spend an extra minute brushing:
- The roof of your mouth
- Your gums
- Your tongue
- The walls of your mouth
Bacteria can be extremely damaging if you don’t clean it out properly, and it can build up anywhere in your mouth – not just your teeth.
Once you’ve cleaned your teeth, be sure you turn your attention to the other parts of your mouth.
Should I brush after every single meal?
Frequent teeth brushing helps prevent cavities, stains, and tooth decay.
Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day. So logically, brushing after every single meal should be foolproof… right?
However, there’s a right way of going about it and a wrong way.
If you brush too soon after eating, you might even end up causing even more damage to your teeth!
How does that work?
While brushing can help remove potentially damaging bacteria and the food they feed on, certain foods don’t react well to immediate brushing:
- Citrus fruits
- Fizzy drinks
- High-sugar foods
After eating highly acidic foods, your enamel is susceptible to damage. Brushing immediately after eating these foods is akin to kicking your teeth while they’re down.
Your enamel is extremely sensitive after eating highly acidic foods. Brushing while your teeth are still in this weakened state can cause even further damage to your enamel, opening you up to weaker teeth and sensitivity!
But I want to brush!
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t brush at all! However, there are a couple of things you can do to avoid damaging your teeth:
- Instead of brushing immediately, wait half an hour for the acid to wash out
- Rinse out your mouth with a glass of water
- Alternatively, brush your teeth prior to eating: cleaning your teeth before a meal removes bacteria that has previously developed
Time for a diet change
Brushing after every meal isn’t the only thing you can do. However, if your diet is heavy on these particular foods, you might need to look at changing your eating habits in addition to brushing habits.
Sugar: not so sweet after all!
High-sugar diets are an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of food for harmful bacteria, which eat away at the enamel layer of your teeth and open your teeth up to infections, cavities and tooth decay.
There’s a constant tug-of-war going on in your mouth and your teeth are the battleground, with bacteria and your mouth fighting for dominance. And with the vast majority of us consuming almost double the recommended amount of daily sugar, it’s time to make a change!
It’s not just sugar that threatens your dazzling white smile. Tobacco is another common culprit in unhealthy teeth (and not to mention, overall health!)
Your teeth have pores, just like your skin – the nicotine and tar in tobacco easily seeps into these pores, leading to distinctive yellow or brown stains.
Frequent brushing can slow down the onset of these stains. However, once it’s taken hold, one of the only effective treatments to restore your teeth to their dazzling best is professional teeth whitening.
Saliva provides a protective layer to your teeth, transporting calcium and other minerals to your teeth and removing plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
Alcohol on the other hand dries out your mouth, removing saliva. And like we mentioned before, anything that tips the scale in favour of bacteria can have dire consequences!
Finally, just like tobacco, alcohol also stains your teeth. The color in most alcohol comes from chromogens, which seep into your enamel.
Another thing you can consider is following up your drinks with a glass of water to rehydrate your mouth.
Talk to your local hygienist!
And of course, the best thing you can do is talk to our Armadale dentists!
Dental hygienists are specialists in their field, with specific training and experience in diagnosing dental hygiene problems and creating personalised dental hygiene programs.
Your hygienist can help with:
- Cleaning routines
- Between-teeth cleaning
- Brushing technique
- Decay prevention
- Picking a suitable brush
Not only does a hygienist help you gain that dazzling white smile again, but they’re also your best friend when it comes to fighting the onset of cavities and other dental diseases!
Searching for an Armadale dentist?
Call Dental Care Group for qualified dental hygiene advice
Located right on the border between Armadale and Malvern, Dental Care Group is committed to providing exceptional care and expert knowledge in a friendly and welcoming environment.
With over 25 years of experience cleaning teeth of all shapes and sizes (among other things), you can Dr Zelman and his team of Armadale dentists with all your dental hygiene needs.
Meet our team of dental hygienists here.