4 Tips for Better Dental Health

You’ve heard it all before: brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, see your dentist every six months, and don’t eat too much sugar. Still, even if you do everything right, you may learn that you need the occasional filling. Why would that be? The fact is, you might be doing it wrong.

First, let’s talk about brushing.

By brushing, you remove plaque, a sticky substance made of bacteria, bacterial acid, sticky byproducts and remnants of food. Plaque forms on teeth immediately after you eat, and for a while, it just sits there. After about 12 hours, it matures and starts damaging your teeth. The bacteria consume sugar and produce acids, which dissolve the minerals out of your teeth, forming microscopic holes. If you don’t stop the process, those holes turn into cavities.

How do you stop it? First, spend two minutes brushing your teeth, twice a day. Two minutes might seem like a long time, but it’s good for effectively removing plaque. Brushing for two minutes twice a day keeps bacteria from reaching the stage where it starts producing acid. A small, medium-bristled toothbrush, employed in small, circular, back and forth motions will clean your teeth effectively without harming your gums.

You should be using fluoride, but you should also be using disclosure tablets.

Fluoride toothpaste prevents tooth decay by replacing lost minerals and making your teeth stronger. Ask your dentist for recommendations, because some brands don’t have strong enough fluoride. Another tool for conquering plaque is disclosure tablets, which make plaque visible so you can see the spots you’ve missed.

Spitting is better than rinsing.

You don’t produce very much saliva at night, making your teeth more vulnerable when you’re sleeping than they are during the day. Brush before bed to remove plaque and food debris, but don’t rinse your mouth, because you’ll rinse away the fluoride before it gets a chance to work. Just spit, and then don’t eat or drink anything except water.

Watch your sugar even more than you are.

You may think you’re limiting sugar enough, but it can be helpful to count the amounts of “sugar hits” you’re consuming each day, keeping it to four or less. One can of soda has more sugar than you should consume in one day. While sugars found in whole fruits are not damaging, sugar in processed carbohydrates like chips and sweet snacks counts as a sugar hit.

One of the best things you can do for your dental health is to see a dentist every six months.

If you’re looking for a dentist in New York, consider Park 56 Dental Group, where we provide personalized, quality dental care in a spa-like environment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling (212) 826-2322.