As your family dentist in Broomfield, the team at Impressions Dental wants to provide our patients with the tools they need to enjoy a healthy, great-looking smile for a lifetime. Even as the current pandemic has changed the way most of go about our daily lives, the need for dental care remains as important as ever.
A healthy mouth means a healthier body. Right now, we all need to enjoy as robust and healthy an immune system as possible. This becomes especially true when we consider what we currently know about the coronavirus.
Researchers have identified four underlying conditions that increase a patient’s risk for developing a severe case of COVID-19. (Severe cases are those that require hospitalization, the use of oxygen, the use of a respirator, or that end in death.) Those conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Decades worth of additional research has already found that patients who experience tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss have a significantly higher risk for developing chronic health conditions that include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Clearly, now is a time where we all need to enjoy the best oral health possible.
To help keep your teeth and gums looking and feeling their best, here are a few tips you may not realize about your oral health. By keeping these in mind at home, you’ll enjoy much better oral health during your next visit to see your family dentist in Broomfield.
Brushing Harder Doesn’t Make for Cleaner Teeth
A recent study conducted by Philips found that 60 percent of respondents believed that the harder they brushed, the more plaque they removed from their teeth. In actuality, that’s simply not the case. In fact, by overbrushing, you can actually damage the health of your teeth.
Brushing your teeth with the same force you’d use to scrub your bathtub can wear down the protective outer layer of your teeth called enamel. While enamel ranks as one of the hardest substances produced by the body, it can and will breakdown if you scrub your teeth like you’re trying to remove a stain from a shirt.
Instead, use gentle strokes when brushing. Even better, an electric toothbrush is designed to use just the right amount of force, so consider switching if you still use a manual brush.
You Can Develop Cavities Even if You Don’t Eat Sugar
The old adage that sugar rots your teeth isn’t entirely true. Sugars don’t cause cavities, it’s the plaque on your teeth that uses the sugars you eat that does.
A sticky biofilm, plaque clings to the surface of our teeth and transforms the sugars we eat into a corrosive acid that slowly breaks down enamel, creating cavities. When it comes to our oral health, sugar doesn’t just come from the candy, cookies, and cakes we enjoy eating. Simple carbohydrates like those found in pasta and bread are also a type of sugar plaque can use to cause cavities.
Additionally, foods and drinks that have a high acidity (such as juice, soda, and fruits like tomatoes) can increase the pH levels of our mouths. The higher the pH, the more acidic our mouths become. High acidity can also cause enamel to breakdown, and for cavities to develop. So just because you say no to sugar doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about the impact cavities can have on your oral health.
Don’t Brush Right After Eating
Depending on what you had for lunch or dinner, you may feel tempted to brush right away to either improve the state of your breath or to make sure nothing remains stuck in your teeth. However, what you eat can impact your teeth, making brushing a bad idea.
For example, if your lunch consists of highly acidic foods and drinks, that acid can actually cause your tooth enamel to become weakened for a short period of time. If you brush while your teeth remain in that weakened state, you can actually cause more long-term damage than if you simply waited to brush until later.
To understand how this works – think of your teeth like a sheet of paper that gets wet. Until that sheet dries, it can be torn, ripped, or damaged easily. However, once it dries, it becomes far tougher and more resilient.
If you need to improve your breath after eating a particularly smelly lunch, try using a breath mint instead, and floss rather than brush to make sure nothing lingers from lunch in your teeth.
Brush for at Least Two Minutes
The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes each time you brush. However, despite this recommendation, studies have shown that the average adult brushes for 30 seconds, just a quarter of the amount of time needed to properly clean all of the hard to reach areas of the mouth.
If you consider the results you’d receive if you only bathed, brushed your hair, shaved, or applied makeup for 30 seconds, you’d quickly realize that spending so little time brushing means your teeth won’t receive the attention they deserve.
To enjoy the benefits of a healthy, great-looking smile, you need to practice the best oral hygiene habits at home. Not only will better oral hygiene help to make your next visit to see your family dentist in Broomfield a successful one, it will also provide you with the foundation needed to enjoy great oral health for a lifetime.