As with most professions, dentists must complete continuing education and training each year to stay current. But even if they weren’t required to, many dentists would still do it, because the more you learn, the more you grow. The same should apply to patients! Learning more about caring for your oral health means you can take better care of your teeth and live a healthier life in the process. Here are some tips for caring for your teeth that you may not have known but that can make a positive change in your oral health and hygiene.
Don’t Rinse Your Toothpaste
A lot of us brush our teeth and then what do we do? We grab a cup of water and swish or gargle and spit, washing away all the fluoride our toothpaste could be leaving behind. Of course, we don’t want you to swallow your toothpaste, but next time you brush, skip the swish and just spit out your paste. This will leave all the beneficial parts of the toothpaste behind on your teeth so they keep working even after you’ve stopped brushing.
And while we’re on the topic, make sure your toothpaste does contain 1,350 to 1,500 parts per million (PPM) of fluoride.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
Sugar has a bad reputation these days, and for good reason. It has been linked to everything from obesity to diabetes to, of course, cavities. The sugar itself doesn’t cause the cavities, though – it’s the acid byproduct of the bacteria that eat the sugar off your teeth. This bacteria wears through your enamel and causes cavities. But sugar tastes so good, doesn’t it? We’re not asking you to cut sugar entirely from your diet (although that would be ideal), but experts recommend no more than 8 teaspoons of sugar per day. And while that may seem like a lot, when you look at how much sugar is in the foods we regularly consume without even realizing it, many people may consume that just at breakfast.
Floss at Night
There doesn’t seem to be an official guideline about what is the best time to floss, but it makes a lot of sense to floss before bed. This removes all the food and plaque accumulated between the teeth during the day and keeps the teeth free of debris overnight. Of course, it won’t hurt to floss again in the morning (in fact it would help tremendously!), but if you are going to floss only once a day, make it count.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lesko, please call 970-221-5115.