Dos and Don’ts when taking care of your teeth

22 Jul


Most dentists agree on the “do’s and don’t’s” of good oral hygiene. Doctor Saliba included the golden rules of maintaining good oral health:

  • DO brush your teeth for up to 120 seconds or two minutes.
  • DO use fluoride and ADA-approved toothpaste. For children under the age of nine, do use fluoride supplements in order to help them strengthen their teeth against tooth decay.
  • DO brush two to three times a day, especially before going to bed.
  • DO floss between your teeth at once a day.
  • DO eat healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • DO go to the dentist for basic cleanup and checkups on a regular basis (once or twice a year).
  • DON’T smoke, as smoking is one of the leading causes of gum diseases.
  • DON’T snack before go to bed.
  • DON’T use sugar or honey in your coffee or tea. Try to use sugar substitutes, instead.
  • If you have a baby, DON’T give your baby fruit juice, as juices are acidic (and wear down teeth gradually) and contain loads of sugar.
  • DON’T make is a habit to eat sugar-filled candies.
  • Parents, DON’T use candy as a pacifier, as studies show that doing this will predispose children to adult obesity. 

Other important tips related to maintaining good oral health include:

  • Choose the right type of toothbrush. Hard-bristled brushes do not remove plaque or stains better than soft-bristled brushes and are not kind to sensitive teeth and gums.
  • For flossing, lightly waxed or unwaxed floss tends to work best for most people. For people who have teeth that are very close together, use Teflon-coating, thin tape.
  • Although no mouthwash or rinse can kill all the bacteria in your mouth, when used in combination with brushing and flossing, mouth rinses can help reduce bacteria that causes dental plaque, which helps to prevent gum diseases. In order for mouthwashes to work properly, however, you must keep the wash in your mouth for the duration recommended on the label.
  • Teeth whitening is most ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored teeth (i.e., no fillings) and gums. Also, for people who want to whiten their teeth, going to their dentist’s office for light-activated whitening can make teeth three to eight shades lighter, while over-the-counter whitening agents or toothpastes tend to lighten tooth color by one shade.

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