5 Tips for Tip-Top Teeth

child_brushingDental caries (cavities) is the most prevalent childhood disease, and 90% of adults have had a cavity. Gum disease is responsible for 70% of adult tooth loss. A few simple habits could help you reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease – and improve your potential for keeping natural teeth long into your golden years. Kids and adults alike can benefit from these 5 quick and easy oral health tips. Some you’ve known since kindergarten, while others may be news.

  1. Limit sodas & energy drinks – All you need to know…one 12-ounce can of soda pop has 10 teaspoons of sugar – TEN! In addition, the carbonated beverages are high in acid, so they cause tooth enamel erosion. Bad, bad, bad! Instead, drink water.
  2. Limit starches & sugars – Sugars are no friend of tooth enamel. But then, neither are cooked starches, like crackers, cookies, noodles, mild, and many other snacks. When you over-consume these fermentable carbohydrates, the bacteria in your mouth will thank you – and you’ll end up with a filling!
  3. Rinse and repeat – After eating a snack or drinking anything other than water, simply rinse your mouth with fresh H2O to wash away decay-causing sugars, starches, and food particles. These culprits will feed bacteria if left in your mouth for any length of time.
  4. Eat healthy snacks – Carrots, celery, apples, and other fresh, non-processed, crunchy snacks are great for your oral health. Also on the list are those that saliva can quickly rinse away, like yogurt. Surprisingly, cheeses are good for oral health, as well, because they increase the production of saliva, which rinses the mouth naturally.
  5. Brush after meals – In addition to rinsing after snacks and drinks, be sure to brush your teeth after meals. You can find small, disposable toothbrushes that are easy to carry in your purse or pocket. Some have a hard dot of toothpaste in the center, so they’ll freshen your breath, as well. Floss once a day and whenever you feel particles stuck between your teeth.

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