Teeth brushing sounds simple enough, but when it comes to keeping your pearly whites in good nick, there are some tricks worth knowing.
Ever heard of pairing wine with dairy, not for the taste, but for the dental protection, for example?
Coming up, how to take the best care of your teeth (beyond brushing and flossing), straight from a dentist’s mouth …
Know when and when not to brush
Sure, brushing your teeth is recommended, but not straight after consuming something acidic, such as wine, orange juice or grapefruit.
“The acid [in these products] temporarily softens the [teeth’s] enamel,” explains Dr Hugo Sachs, President of the Australian Dental Association.
At this point, brushing can cause damage.
“You’re better off rinsing [with water] to neutralise the acid, then brushing [a couple of hours later],” he says.
Go for soft bristles
When shopping for a toothbrush, always go for one with soft bristles.
According to Dr Sachs, “hard [and medium] ones strip the enamel off”.
And as for whether to go electric or manual, Dr Sachs says “electric toothbrushes do a far superior job than manual”.
Don’t rinse after brushing
“Once you’ve cleaned your teeth don’t rinse,” says Dr Sachs.
He explains that leaving residual fluoridated toothpaste on your teeth after brushing enhances fluoride’s remineralisation (restorative) effects.
Pair dairy with wine
If you’re intending to drink wine, Dr Sachs recommends including dairy, such as cheese, on the menu.
Remember how wine is highly acidic? Well, the protein casein, found in dairy, provides a protective layer on the surface of the teeth, explains Dr Sachs.
Furthermore, Nutrition Australia says the calcium and phosphorus present in dairy helps to restore teeth following “acid attacks”.
Notice how your brush ages
That’s right, your toothbrush reflects your brushing technique.
“Your toothbrush should be the same shape from the day that you bought it to the day that you get rid of it three months later,” says Dr Sachs.
“If it’s not, you’re brushing too hard.”
Have a ‘Plan B’ when caught short
If you can’t get to your toothbrush or toothpaste, Dr Sachs says rinsing your mouth out with water is the next best option.
Don’t encourage ‘dental independence’ in kids too soon
This one’s a tip for parents.
According to Dr Sachs, “children don’t have the manual dexterity to clean their teeth, so parents need to be taking an active role in cleaning their teeth till they’re at least 10 years old”.
Parents also need to control their children’s sugar intake for optimal dental health, he adds.
So there you go – expert teeth health tips to keep your mouth in top shape.