Besides regular dental check-ups, there are numerous things you can do yourself that will improve the overall health of your teeth and prevent as much tooth decay as possible.
Most people know to brush their teeth at least twice a day however what you may not know is that you should wait at least an hour after eating before you brush your teeth. Brushing immediately after eating can actually damage your teeth, especially if you’ve had fruit, anything fizzy, wine or any food that contains acid. Your body produces saliva with bacteria in it that neutralises these items but it needs about an hour to do its work, so try to leave your teeth for at least an hour after eating.
Brushing your tongue when you brush your teeth is also very helpful as it will not only help keep your breath smelling fresh, but also remove bacteria.
It is very important to replace your toothbrush with a new one regularly. Every two months or when the bristles start to look worn is a good indication that you need a new toothbrush.
Flossing – no doubt every time you’ve ever visited a dentist they have mentioned that you should floss daily and there is a very good reason why they say this. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gum line.
Mouthwash that does not have alcohol in it is also a great way of keeping tooth decay away. What most people do not know, though, is that you should not use it after brushing your teeth – it should be used at a different time during the day, after lunch for instance. It’s also important to not eat or drink for half an hour afterwards.
It may be worth speaking to your dentist about getting a dental sealant, which is a plastic protective coating, applied to the chewing surfaces of your molars (back teeth) to protect them from decay.
Cutting down on food high in sugar is also very helpful as the sugar is turned into acid that then eats away at the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to tooth decay.
If you are concerned about discolouration of your teeth and cannot afford to have them whitened, a terrific way of helping your teeth stay white or bringing back the white if they are stained is to brush with bi-carb soda after you have brushed with your normal toothpaste. Doing this twice a day will improve the colour of your teeth markedly and is a cost effective way of having, and keeping, whiter teeth.
Most importantly, you should go to your dentist at least twice a year for a check-up. Putting it off may lead to more damage to your teeth which means more work for your dentist and a higher cost to yourself. Being proactive about your teeth care is the best way to make sure your teeth are always in the best condition.