WE UNDERSTAND HOW BUSY life can get–between work, school, sports, and having a social and family life, it can be hard to find time for your dental health. Because we know how precious your time is, we’ve decided to compile a list of quick, easy tips to keep your teeth clean in between meals and on the go!
First Of All, Snack Healthy
Did you know that frequent snacking throughout the day can contribute to tooth decay? Try to keep snacking to a minimum. If you do need a pick-me-up during the day, choose tooth-friendly snacks, such as broccoli, carrots, seeds, nuts, or apples. These are also great choices when finishing off a meal! Because of their abrasive texture, these foods act as a natural toothbrush, scrubbing your teeth as you chew and removing bacteria and plaque. Another great snack that actually helps fight tooth decay is cheese. Cheese has casein, casein is a protein that kills bacteria that causes tooth decay. There are studies done by the World Health Organization (WHO) that show eating a piece of cheese after a meal is a close second to brushing after a meal. Amazing!
Avoid soft drinks, sweet tea, sports drinks, and coffee drinks with sugar in them. These are not good snacks and really are overused. A great drink from Starbucks can lower the pH of your mouth and provide carbohydrates for the bad bacteria to ingest and produce acid. This acid will wear your teeth down and lead to cavities. Bad bacteria love low pH, a low pH is acidic. Bad bacteria don’t thrive at a neutral pH. Drinking water keeps our pH out of the acidic zone and helps maintain a normal neutral pH.
Brush And Floss Your Teeth, Even On The Go
This is an obvious one. One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay and dental disease is to brush and floss often! With that being said, we understand that not everyone has time to make a trip to the bathroom to brush their teeth after every meal. A quick on-the-go tip is to brush your teeth without toothpaste!
Carry a travel toothbrush with you and when you feel plaque or food on your teeth, simply pull it out and brush! Even without the added benefits of toothpaste, this will help remove plaque and bacteria adhering to your teeth. You can do this sitting at your office desk or waiting in the car for your kids to come out from school!
A lot of our patients have also benefited from floss picks. Because of their easy-to-use handle, you can use them one-handed and without a mirror. This makes flossing in between meals much easier and more accessible! At our dental office, we keep a good supply of them on hand. Next time you in just ask one of the dental hygienists (Scarlet, Ashley, or Kristin) for some they will be happy to give you a sample.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum And Drink Plenty Of Water
We’ve mentioned the benefits of chewing sugarless gum after a meal plenty of times before. It’s such an easy and enjoyable way of protecting your teeth from cavities that we can’t say enough about it!
The act of chewing increases saliva flow in your mouth, which washes away food particles and neutralizes acids. Saliva also promotes remineralization, helping teeth to recover from any damage incurred while eating. Just pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth for 20 minutes after a snack or meal to reap the benefits! Remember to choose sugarless gum with xylitol!
Although this video is meant for dental professionals, it provides the perfect explanation as to why chewing sugar-free gum protects your teeth after a meal!
Water, similar to saliva, washes away food debris and cleans between teeth. Rinsing your mouth out frequently, especially after eating, is a simple way to bolster your teeth’ defense against cavity-causing bacteria.
Keep Your Oral Health In Check
We know life gets busy. McOmie Family Dentistry hopes these tips will make it a lot easier to keep your oral health in check! By taking care of your teeth throughout the day, not just in the morning and at night, you can ensure that your smile will be happy and healthy for a lifetime. Do you have any more on-the-go tips? Let us know in the comments below!