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Dr Fareed Amod – Healthy habits for oral health

We all know that brushing twice a day and flossing regularly is necessary to keep your teeth healthy but there are other good habits you can learn to improve oral health.

Our hygienist, Mateenah Amod has some key tips to keep your mouth and your teeth as clean and healthy as possible.

1. Brush before breakfast and rinse after

Brushing your teeth before breakfast protects your teeth before eating. But if you have things like juice or cereal for breakfast brushing straight after eating can damage your teeth more. For best results for your teeth, brush first and rinse after.

2. Brush your teeth before going to be bed

Many of us neglect to brush our teeth at night. However, brushing your teeth at night gets rid of the germs and plaque that have accumulated during the day.

3. Brush properly

The way you brush is equally as significant as how often you brush. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque.

4. Remember your tongue

Plaque can build up on your tongue as well as your teeth. This can lead to bad breath and to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth. There are toothbrushes with short bristles at the back to help brush your tongue as well as specifically made tongue scrapers that you can buy.

5. Use a good fluoride toothpaste

It doesn’t necessarily matter what type of toothpaste you choose to buy, as long as it contains fluoride. Fluoride works by fighting germs that can lead to decay, as well as provides a protective barrier for your teeth.

6. Spit, don’t rinse

Rinsing your mouth after brushing will wash off the fluoride that is there to protect your teeth during the day. So, spit, rather than rinse after brushing to avoid washing away the benefits.

7. Floss daily

Treat flossing as important as brushing, make sure to clean in between your teeth daily. Flossing is a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque and help lower inflammation.

8. Use a mouthwash

Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash at least twice a day, completes your oral hygiene. Mouthwash can remove plaque and kill bacteria in your mouth while protecting your teeth. Don’t eat or drink for a minimum of 30 minutes after rinsing to allow the mouthwash to take effect.

9. Stop smoking

Apart from the general health risks smoking causes, your oral health can be affected. Smoking can stain your teeth yellow, cause a discoloured tongue as well as increases your risk of gum disease. Smoking can also slow the healing of dental procedures and causes bad breath.

10. Limit sugary and starchy foods

Consider lowering or avoiding sugary treats and processed foods. Processed foods contain added sugar and are often as bad as desserts. Starchy foods like rice and pasta break down into simple sugars on which acid-producing bacteria in your mouth feed. The acid produced by such bacteria can erode the enamel and cause cavities. Experts suggest eating more fruits and vegetables rich in fibre. These foods nourish your body and keep your teeth strong.

11. Stay hydrated

Water continues to be the best drink for your health, including your oral health. Drinking water after every meal can help wash out some of the negative effects or sticky and acidic foods and drinks in between brushes.

12. See your dentist at least twice a year

While your everyday habits are crucial to keeping your teeth clean and healthy your dentist will be able spot any potential issues that you may have and offer cleanings and/or treatment.

Crown Dental Studio is one of the few truly 24-hour dental practises in Durban as this is not limited to emergency dentistry treatment.

T: +27 (0)81 207 8621


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