5 Things Dentists Wish You Knew About Your Teeth
Most people know that brushing and flossing is important to maintain a healthy smile. However, there are other lesser-known dental tips that can go a long way to having good oral health.
Here are 5 things your dentist wish you knew about your teeth:
- Brush & Floss Daily
It is important to brush at least twice a day, in the morning and night. Flossing at least once a day is also encouraged. Skipping these steps will cause plaque to remain on your teeth. If left on the tooth surface for more than 24 hours, plaque is likely to calcify to become limestone, also known as calculus or tartar. It is an ideal place for bacteria to thrive and cause further problems to your teeth. Tartar is hard, so once formed; it cannot be removed through brushing or flossing, and it can only be removed by a dentist.
- Don’t Brush Too Hard
On the other hand, brushing too hard can also damage your gums and cause wear on teeth, so be careful about the amount of pressure used. Many of us get receding gums due to brushing too vigorously. This also exposes the root of the affected tooth, which is softer and more prone to damage than the stronger crown of the tooth. Continued overbrushing can increase wear to the softer part of the tooth, resulting in sensitivity and unsightliness.
- The Importance of Fluoride
Fluoride is important to prevent decay and tooth wear. Your teeth are made from a crystalline structure at the molecular level, and fluoride that is applied to your teeth topically or ingested through drinking water helps to strengthen that crystalline structure, which provides greater resistance to decay and tooth wear.
- Don’t Brush Immediately After Eating Acidic Foods
Brushing straight after eating acidic foods or drinks like orange juice accelerates teeth wear. While teeth brushing should be a part of your oral care routine, you should not do so right after eating or drinking acidic foods. The acid in these foods soften your teeth’s surface, and brushing them immediately after eating will wear down your teeth faster.
Although your saliva buffers against acidic attacks on your teeth by re-hardening the softened tooth structure, this will take at least half an hour. So, brush your teeth before having breakfast in the morning, especially if you eat or drink acidic foods regularly.
- Gum Disease is Linked to Heart Problems
Recent studies have shown that gum disease may increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Your teeth are unique in that they start in your bone and end in the mouth, and the gums are the interface between these two environments. This means that bacteria in your mouth can use diseased gums as a portal to enter the bloodstream, where they can attach to and colonise weak areas or fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which increases your risk of stroke or heart disease. It is therefore important to look after your teeth and gums and have them checked and cleaned regularly by your dentist.
About Raffles Dental
In Singapore, Raffles Dental provides a comprehensive range of services to prevent, diagnose and treat dental and oral diseases. Conveniently located islandwide, we are dedicated to providing the highest standard of professional care and service.