Sometimes, small changes to your oral hygiene regimen can yield large improvements to your dental health. Here are three small measures that you can take to care for your gums and teeth more effectively:
Drink tea with your meals.
When a menu is placed before you, there are usually multiple drink options from which to choose. Selecting soda, which has a high acid content, facilitates tooth decay by demineralizing tooth enamel. However, tea can actually help improve your oral health.
Research indicates that black tea has antimicrobial properties that lower the bacterial counts in your mouth. Researchers suggest that you consume three to four cups of tea daily to enjoy the benefits. Drinking tea at meal time can help you meet your three-to-four cup goal.
Chew gum after your meals.
Even though you may be tempted to place a mint in your mouth after a meal, chewing a piece of sugarless gum is more beneficial. The gum adheres to particles of food and plaque that may be stuck to your teeth. In addition, as you chew the gum, the salivary gland is stimulated to produce more saliva, which helps dilute acid that may be in the oral cavity.
You can realize even more benefits by chewing gum that is sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is antibacterial and helps kill harmful oral bacteria.
In addition, if the gum is flavored with cinnamon, there are even more antibacterial qualities. Cinnamon flavored gum helps kill the oral bacteria that are associated with halitosis.
Rinse your mouth with water periodically throughout the day.
Water, like saliva, helps dilute oral acid. However, tap water also contains fluoride, which helps harden tooth enamel.
When fluoride ions are introduced into the mouth, they coat the surface of the teeth. Calcium and phosphate that are dissolved by oral acid are drawn back to the fluoride ions to form a compound that remineralizes the tooth enamel. The new compound that forms is called fluorapatite, and it is harder and more acid-resistant than the original tooth material.
Rinsing your mouth also helps dislodge and flush away food particles from your mouth. These particles can facilitate the growth of bacteria by providing a carbohydrate food source for the microbes. In addition, the formation of plaque is encouraged by food debris, since plaque consists of a mixture of oral bacteria and leftover food particles.
To learn additional ways to help protect and improve your oral health, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area.