Brush, Floss and Eat healthy! Be a good role model so that your children also learn to take good care of their teeth. Learn what foods to eat and which to avoid, to ensure healthy teeth and pretty smiles!
"Some pains are physical, some are mental; One that is both is dental." - Poet Laureate Ogden Nash
Every morning we rush through the routine of brushing our teeth and rinsing our mouth, but after a hard day's work we are so tired that we just crash after dinner, without bothering to clean our teeth. Who has the time, or the energy or the inclination? Bed is so much more tempting, right?
Ideally, teeth should be cleaned after every meal, but not many adults, let alone children, do this. It is only when one is in pain that one visits the dentist. Very often it's too late to save the teeth even by a qualified dentist. The decay is too deep.
So how do your keep your teeth healthy and your smile, beautiful? Here are a few tips.
The right diet and nutrition play an integral part in ensuring strong teeth and healthy gums. Sugar, natural or processed, is your teeth's deadliest enemy and is the prime cause of tooth decay. Retentive sticky foods (such as raisins, caramels, toffees, slowly dissolving hard candies, etc.) that are not quickly diluted by saliva also pose a major risk in the formation of dental cavities. Even apparently harmless wafers/chips are retained on the tooth for a long period of time & eventually broken down into carbohydrates & sugars leading to decay.
Many inter-related factors must be considered when the growth and development of children is being evaluated in respect to their oral health. Children should be given carbohydrates in their natural forms (as far as possible). They should be encouraged to eat hard fruits in whole instead of juices. This helps cleanse and stimulate teeth. Sticky/soft foods like white bread, pastries, aerated drinks, doughnuts, sweet rolls and processed cereals, one of the biggest causes of tooth decay, should be avoided. Beverages like lassi, buttermilk and home-made squashes should be encouraged.
The longer food remains in your mouth, the greater the chance for decay. Rinse your mouth immediately after eating, especially if you've just had something sweet, to prevent the formation of plaque. Remember, rinsing after meals and brushing teeth at least twice daily is essential to keep tartar and plaque at bay. Use an effective, clinically tested toothpaste that provides long time protection between brushings.
In an article that appeared in Reuters Health News of May 14, crash dieting can affect more than your figure. With the focus of the media on diets, exercise equipment and personal care products, people are more concerned with their appearance and physical health than ever. Teenagers have been known to start that Monday morning crash diet without ever realizing that this may in fact be the incorrect way to diet. These crash dieters who excessively fast, or diet on an on and off pattern, tend to have a lack of, or decrease in certain vitamins, most notably Vitamins D, B-12 and calcium. They also tend to lack certain minerals and proteins in their diets. These are very important vitamins especially for the health of the teeth and gums. Dieters also tend to take diet pills that may cause a decrease in saliva flow as a side effect. This decrease in saliva flow tends to increase the acid levels in the mouth, which may cause an increased level of cavity formation. What may be recommended is that dieters consult with their health care provider or nutritionist to determine what type of diet they should be on. Vitamin levels and a balanced diet with all food groups should be evaluated. As always, sound oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist help decrease oral health problems.
Supplements, together with good oral hygiene, can aid in decreasing the incidence of dental cavities, bad breath and gum disease. Vitamins, such as a vitamin C, flavanoids and coenzyme Q10 are powerful antioxidants that protect gums against cell damage and promote healing. Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen - the main protein building block for fibrous framework of all living tissues - which, in turn, makes it more resistant to bacterial penetration. Vitamin C also promotes healthy capillaries, which aids oral tissue in staying healthy. Insufficient consumption of Vitamin C may lead to oral health problems like swollen and bleeding gums and loss of teeth can result.
Tongue cleaning is very important. It helps to reduce bad breath and improve oral hygiene status because a large number of bacteria reside in the rough corrugated surface of tongue. Most dental professionals advise that poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing, not flossing, or not rinsing enough is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Smoking, chewing beetle nut and tobacco are also factors that adversely affect oral hygiene. These habits can cause bad breath, decay, gum disease, damage to tooth enamel, eventual tooth loss and in many cases even lead to oral cancer.
With a little awareness and knowledge on the subject of oral care, there could be some prettier smiles around the world and less misery from tooth decay.