One of the most important tasks any good family dental clinic will undertake is the task of educating patients.
But education goes far beyond informing patients about how to instruct their children to properly brush their teeth, or when a dental bridge should be used. While most patients understand that sugary drinks and candy can be detrimental to your teeth, many patients don’t realize that it’s all sugar that should be avoided, which leads us to our first tip:
While you might not look at potato chips and other starchy snacks as a dental risk, that’s because you’re not thinking about their chemistry. While they might not have a lot of sugar on their ingredient’s list, the starch in potato chips (and other starch-filled items) converts into sugar after you’ve eaten them. If you’ve eaten or served snacks like these, follow them up with water whenever you can. Or, at the best you can opt instead for mixed nuts – which are ultimately more healthy and less likely to allow sugars to bathe your teeth.
You would likely hear the same advice from your doctor, but don’t be surprised to hear it from your family dentist as well, that is: drink more water. Most dental patients don’t drink nearly enough water. Not only is it helpful to your body, but it also helps to wash away the bacteria in your mouth while neutralizing acid residue as well. If you’re consuming food or beverages that are acidic always remember to rinse, rinse rinse. On top of this, if your children participate in sports and feel inclined to the occasional sports drink, be careful. While these drinks are okay from time to time, water is always better than a sugary sports drink that not only contains calories, but can also be an unnecessary burden on the teeth.
Nobody needs to be told that brushing your teeth is important. However, many patients do need to hear a few not-said-enough warnings about their teeth. First, don’t brush too hard. Brushing too hard for too long can eventually wear down your tooth’s enamel, while also contributing to gum erosion (which can contribute to sensitivity and other problems down the road). On top of not brushing too hard, it’s also important to consider the acid in your diet. Just like we mentioned it being important to wash away acid from your diet, it’s also important not to help it attack your teeth. Brushing too soon after eating acidic can contribute to accelerated erosion and abrasion. Due to this, it’s best to wait for about 30 minutes after eating to brush.