Looking after your teeth contributes to the way you look. Sparkling clean, even teeth look good, so you can smile with confidence. Good mouthcare keeps your breath fresh too!
It’s over to you
Nobody wants to lose a tooth from decay or have bleeding gums. Good habits keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay. This way you will ensure that you look and feel good now, and you will keep your teeth for life.
The root of the problem
Plaque is a sticky substance that develops on the teeth continuously and contains a host of bacteria. These bacteria are the common link between tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath. The plaque bacteria use the sugars from our food and drink to cause acid attacks on the teeth. If this occurs often, then over time, tooth decay or cavities will form. Gum disease is caused when the bacteria infect the gums, causing them to bleed. In the early stages, it is easy to get rid of (by thorough toothbrushing to clean them off), but if allowed to develop, the bacteria creep down and create pockets between the tooth and the gum, where they grow and multiply and you can no longer brush them away…eventually making the tooth loose. The smell of gas produced by the activity of the bacteria living in the mouth is the main cause of bad breath! The daily removal of plaque around and in between the teeth helps fight against all these problems.
To keep plaque at bay you need
• Fluoride toothpaste – fluoride helps to strengthen the tooth against acid attacks. Most toothpaste contains fluoride which helps prevent decay.
• A good toothbrush – check the bristles are not too worn and the head is small enough to move easily inside your mouth.
• Your time! – make time to clean all the surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and get right up to overlap the gums. Do this in the morning, and last thing at night every day. Clean in between the teeth in the mornings as well.
All types of sugars (packet sugar, fruit sugars and honey) and even some processed starchy foods, including crisps and savoury snacks, can feed the mouth bacteria producing acid. Every time we eat sugar an acid attack can occur. The acids in some foods and soft drinks can also attack the tooth enamel directly. To protect your teeth, reduce the number of snacks you take between meals.
Try to have breakfast and sit down to regular meals if you can. This will help reduce snacking or sugar cravings.
If you do snack, try not to nibble them over a long period of time; grazing all day provides a constant acid attack on the teeth.
Swishing or holding drinks in your mouth is more damage. Use a straw to take the drink past your front teeth.
Smokers have more gum disease, stained teeth and bad breath. It is very hard to kick the habit, and in the long-term smoking can cause cancer. So, say no to cigarettes now.
Your dentist is there to help
A visit to the dentist is a chance to talk to an expert who can give you advice about keeping your mouth healthy. If you have a particular concern about the appearance of your teeth your dentist may be able to provide advice or treatment to improve them.
Follow this advice and kiss with confidence!
Article provided by Dr Karen Gardner, Clinica Dental la Plaza, Jávea - Tel 96 646 1120 for an appointment with the dentist or dental hygienist.