Dental Health Week is the 7th-13th of August which makes it the perfect time to change your oral care habits. The overall health of your teeth is key in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sure, you may be a busy professional, always on the run, but to skip routine mouth maintenance can become costly down the road. Not to mention the extra time you will have to spend fixing potential problems on your pearly whites. So before you dash out the door thinking, I’ll just brush when I get home tonight, think again! Taking that extra few minutes after meals to pamper your mouth is essential.
Here are some tips from the Australian Dental Association to keep your teeth in tip-top shape:
BRUSH! BRUSH! BRUSH!
You can’t possibly be too busy to brush. It takes a mere two minutes to do it properly. Grab that soft bristled brush, gently clean your teeth using a circular motion and systematically clean your teeth from the back to the front.
Scrubbing too hard can cause damage to your gums and tooth enamel so while cleaning the front and back of your teeth, take caution and do it gently. Treat them like you would a toddler- extra special! Don’t forget to give that tongue a good scrubbing too! Skipping that step can often lead to nasty breath, which we all know is not good for hard-working individuals.
FLOSS! FLOSS! FLOSS!
Don’t squish your nose at me! You have to do it! Every time you brush would be ideal as brushing your teeth only covers half of the battle, or surface area, rather. Flossing not only helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, but it also helps keep your breath fresh.
This will also knock some time off of your clock in the morning- I think we are up to four minutes now? I think we can spare four minutes! It’s important not to rush this procedure, as you may risk cutting your gums, however, once a day is better than nothing. So if you must skip the morning floss, try tackling it during your lunch break or before bed.
Have your dentist show you some proper flossing techniques but in short, grab the floss, wind about 45 cm of the floss around your forefingers, and using a side to side motion, gently clean between each tooth. Don’t forget to also clean the neck of your tooth. Yes, your tooth has a neck and it needs to be cleaned! It’s the point where your tooth meets the gums, so curl the floss and insert it gently under the gums to ensure you clean out all the remnants of last night’s chicken pasta!
Watch what you eat!
If you must skip brushing on occasion, take note in what you’re putting in your mouth. Lot’s of soda and candy is a bad idea. Instead, drink lots of water, as it contains fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay (fun fact, bottled water has the fluoride filtered out, so don’t waste your money and drink tap water instead: Melbourne has some of the best tap water in the world!). Try to limit snacking in between meals. Believe it or not, your saliva helps neutralise acids in your mouth, protecting you from tooth decay. If you must have a snack grab a piece of fruit or sugar-free gum, as the gum will help your mouth produce more saliva.
Regular Dental Check-ups!
Prevention is the best cure for tooth decay so visiting your dentist for regular check-ups is a must. Schedule a routine exam ahead of time. I’m sure your boss will understand- or maybe you are the boss, in that case, you’re all set!
There is no better time than right now to protect your mouth from the dangers of everyday eating and drinking. So throw your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in your bag and get to brushing!