• August 9, 2015

In our previous blog post we discussed a few things that might be damaging your teeth without you realizing it. This time around we’re going to talk about some stuff you might already be doing that’s great for your teeth. If you don’t already know them then you will soon!

These tips, of course, go hand in hand with professional dental exams and cleanings. Without regular dental care to reach the spots in your mouth that’s is impossible to find you’ll end up with tooth decay and other conditions!

Tip #1: Chewing Gum?

Okay, don’t get too excited! This doesn’t apply to those sugary gobs of pink bubble gum that you loved as a kid, nor does it apply to today’s sugary gums. Sugar free gum can still be bad as well depending on what chemicals are used to sweeten it. The best option? Gum sweetened with xylitol!

Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that doesn’t help bacteria in your tooth produce acid, and in fact inhibit it! So if you’re chewing gum with xylitol you’re really doing your mouth a favor! The act of chewing gum is also great for your teeth because it helps remove food particles and stimulates saliva production to further protect your teeth and clean your mouth!

Tip #2: Avoid a Dry Mouth, Stay Hydrated!

Yet another important reason to stay hydrated: your mouth! If you’ve ever had a dry mouth you know the feeling that comes along with it – sticky, smelly, and gross! Staying hydrated allows your body to produce saliva, which is an important part of your oral health! Saliva helps protect your teeth by flushing out food particles, washing away acids, and aiding in plaque removal.

By staying hydrated you won’t just feel better, be more alert, and be able to think clearly, you’ll also be protecting your teeth! Even better, if you’re drinking from the tap you’ll probably be getting a boost of fluoride too!

Tip #3: Citrus Complications

You may have heard that citrus isn’t the best thing for your teeth since it contains so much acid, and there are plenty of other acidic foods just like it that can cause the same sorts of problems! Remember how I mentioned that plaque bacteria produces acid? Eating a lot of acidic foods just skips the bacteria and unleashes the acid!

There’s something else important to know about acids on your teeth, especially from food and not bacteria: they can soften your enamel! That’s why it’s important to not brush your teeth right away after you eat an orange, drink some lemonade, or eat a pickle – just drink some water or chew sugarless gum instead!

Tip #4: Drink Tea!

Unsugared, of course! Black and green tea are both great for preventing acid damage to your teeth, and for an amazing reason, too! The compounds they contain are actually capable of blocking sugar processing by bacteria – tea is a regular super tooth-friendly drink!

Even better, if you drink tea that’s made from your tap water you’re getting a dose of fluoride too! So choose tea to give you your morning boost – it’s tasty without any additives, perks you up, and protects your teeth! Just avoid adding sugar, which can completely nullify the benefits of tea!

Tip #5: Watch For Acid Reflux

We all get a little heartburn sometimes, but some of us have it a bit worse: we get acid reflux. If you suffer from GERD or an undiagnosed acid reflux condition you should definitely see your doctor soon! Acid reflux can lead to a loss of tooth enamel and bad breath, so it’s important to get it treated!

Over time, acid reflux can be a serious destroyer of tooth enamel – don’t let it go unchecked! With just a quick trip to your doctor, some tests, and a prescription you can avoid expensive, uncomfortable, and time-consuming dental care that may never have been necessary!

Tip 6: See Your Dentist!

As always, no matter how hard you try you might still end up with cavities. Because the mouth is such a specialized part of the body you should always see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. By proactively taking care of your mouth you might prevent a problem from ever occurring or stop one before it becomes worse!

To schedule an appointment to protect your teeth, call Shorewood Family Dental today at 815-768-1615 or make an appointment with us using our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!