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Established for 24 years, Birkbeck Dentistry leads the way in exceptional dental and patient care, carrying out work to the highest standards using ethical dentistry and utilising the finest materials, equipment and techniques.
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Our Top Eight Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Teeth
1) Fluoride: If there is one word (or ingredient) that is synonymous with oral hygiene it’s fluoride. The introduction of fluoride into toothpaste, mouthwashes and the like is seen as the most significant breakthrough within the world of oral health – and for good reason. There is a veritable wealth of studies (such as this one) exemplifying the protective effects of fluoride on enamel and overall oral health, and it is because of this overwhelming evidence that fluoride exists both in the aforementioned products and tap water. So, our first tip is to ensure that you use a toothpaste that contains sufficient levels of fluoride.
2) Daily care: Although I’m sure that every man and his dog has heard the advice to ‘brush twice a day’, you’d be surprised at the number of people that still don’t heed this guidance. Without adequate brushing and – some would argue – flossing, the chances of both gum disease and tooth decay will increase. A mere three minutes brushing every morning and evening (in conjunction with a diet low in sugar and acidic foods, and regular trips to the dentist) will help to keep your pearly whites healthy.
3) Rinse or chew: Although brushing three minutes twice per day will help to keep your teeth healthy, there are other steps that you can take to ensure prime oral health. One of these is to rinse your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash or chew sugar-free gum after every meal or snack. Removing bacteria from your mouth and neutralising any acids that may still be lingering on your teeth or gums is paramount for oral health, and both rinsing with mouthwash and chewing gum will help eradicate the effects of bacteria and acids.
4) Eat healthily: There are no two ways about it – diet plays a huge role in oral health. Why? For two reasons. Firstly, a whole food diet rich in lean sources of protein, healthy fats and dairy products, in addition to a wide range of micronutrients, will provide all the nutrients required to keep your teeth healthy. There is some research to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish) may help to decrease inflammation, which in turn may lower the likelihood of gum disease. Secondly, a diet comprised of clean, healthy drinks and foods will typically be low in sugar, which leads us to our next point.
5) Avoid sugar: Although it is almost impossible to stay away from sugar completely, eliminating as much of it as you can from your diet is a wise move. Sugars in your mouth are broken down by bacteria into acids, which, as you would expect, begin to erode away tooth enamel, increasing the chances of tooth decay. Although all forms of sugary snacks and foods are all bad, sugary drinks – particularly ones of the carbonated variety – are the worst offenders. Because people tend to sip these types of drinks, there is a continued rise in acid levels, and with carbonation further increasing the acidity, it is a recipe for disaster, i.e. tooth decay and gum disease.
6) Smoking: This may seem like an obvious one, but, in our opinion, it is not something that can ever be understated. Smoking is one of the worst (if not the worst) things you can do where your health is concerned – and that includes oral health too. Not only does tobacco stain your teeth, but it also vastly increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer.
7) Protection during sports: Participating in sports and fitness activities is one way to build a fitter, healthier body, but they can pose a risk to teeth. If you take part in games or events where physical contact occurs (particularly to the head or face) then wearing a gum shield or similar form of protection is necessary. Imagine spending several minutes every day over many, many years caring for your teeth, only to them knocked out when doing something you love – you’d be devastated! If you can afford to purchase a custom-fitted gum shield from your dentist then we would wholeheartedly recommend this; however, a mouth guard (that can be moulded using hot water) from your local sports shop will suffice if you have a tighter budget
8) Dental check-ups: Last, but certainly not least, everyone’s favourite type of appointment – the dentist (!). Eating a healthy diet and a committing to a daily oral hygiene routine will go a long way to ensuring your teeth stay healthy, but they are only two parts of the jigsaw. Regular trips to a dental professional are essential to maintaining oral health, and without frequent examinations, your teeth and gums may suffer. Most dentists recommend bi-annual check-ups; however, those with any oral problems or ailments will – in most cases – need more frequent appointments.
And there you have it folks, our top eight lifestyle tips for keeping your teeth and gums in pristine condition! Of course, the above list isn’t exhaustive, but it should provide you with a solid foundation on which to build a pro-oral health lifestyle and daily regime. Remember, consistency is the key!
If you have any questions related to oral health and hygiene, then we highly recommend speaking to your dentist or qualified dental professional.
We hope you found this article informative. If you have any comments or feedback regarding this piece, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!