Taking care of your teeth and gums

Keeping your mouth healthy is crucial. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you can avoid tooth decay and gum disease

What is tooth decay?

When you consume sugary foods or drinks, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid. This acid can create holes in your teeth, known as tooth decay.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that adhere to your teeth when they are not properly cleaned. Dentists refer to this layer of bacteria as plaque. If plaque is left on your teeth, your gums will become red, swollen, sore, and may bleed when brushed. You might also have bad breath. If untreated, gum disease can lead to loose teeth that may eventually fall out.

How should I keep my mouth healthy?

  • Keep your teeth and gums clean. Good brushing is essential.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals.
  • Reduce your intake of fizzy and acidic drinks, including sports drinks.

How should I brush my teeth and gums?

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes in the morning and again at bedtime.
  • Use toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Choose a toothbrush with a small head to reach all parts of your mouth.
  • Brush every surface of every tooth.
  • Ensure the bristles reach the area where the tooth meets the gum, where plaque collects.
  • Move the toothbrush in small, gentle circular or scrubbing motions.
  • Dental floss or interdental brushes can help clean between your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist can show you how to use them properly.
  • Use disclosing tablets, which contain a harmless dye to stain plaque, making it easier to see and remove.

Is an electric toothbrush better?

An electric toothbrush can be fun to use but will only be effective if used correctly. It is not a magic wand! Use the type of brush that works best for you.

Why should I avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals?

Every time you consume something sugary, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid. Acid attacks can last up to an hour after eating or drinking. The more frequently you consume sugary foods or drinks, the more likely you are to cause tooth decay. Try to limit sugary foods or drinks to mealtimes. Avoid sugary snacks like cakes, sweets, and biscuits between meals, as well as sugary drinks like fruit squashes, natural fruit juices, and milkshakes.

Why are fizzy and acidic drinks bad for my teeth and gums?

Fruit juices, sports drinks, and fizzy drinks (even sugar-free ones) contain acids that can
dissolve the outer surface of the teeth (enamel), causing erosion. This makes the teeth thinner, more likely to chip, and potentially more sensitive. The more often you drink fizzy or acidic drinks, the more likely you are to damage your teeth. Reduce your intake of fizzy drinks to protect your teeth.

What about acidic foods?

Fruits such as oranges and lemons also contain acids that can dissolve your teeth if consumed in large amounts daily.

What can I drink between meals?

Plain still water and milk are best for your teeth.

What can I eat between meals?

Sugar-free or low-sugar foods are best. Suggestions include bread, cheese sandwiches, vegetables, or fruit.

What else can I do to keep my teeth and gums healthy?

  • Use dental floss or an interdental brush daily to remove plaque from between the teeth.
  • Using a fluoride, alcohol-free mouth rinse at a different time from tooth brushing can help reduce plaque, strengthen teeth, and freshen breath.
  • Visit your dentist regularly to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy.
  • Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Can smoking and drinking alcohol affect my teeth and gums?

Smoking causes tooth staining, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, and mouth cancer. Some alcoholic drinks are acidic and very sugary, and some mixer drinks contain acid, which can cause tooth decay or erosion if consumed often in large amounts.

Things to remember on teeth and gums

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day.
  • Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet and reduce fizzy and acidic drinks.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks between meals.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.

Any further questions?

Please ask your dentist or hygienist. Book appointment at Smilepoint Dental Centre via WhatsApp

Teeth and gums Frequently asked questions

How to take care of teeth and gums naturally?

1. Brush Regularly: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
2. Floss Daily: Remove plaque and food particles between teeth.
3. Rinse with Natural Mouthwash: Use mouthwash with natural ingredients like tea tree oil or aloe vera.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet: Include crunchy fruits and vegetables to clean teeth naturally.
5. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to wash away food particles and bacteria.
6. Avoid Sugary Foods: Limit sugar intake to prevent cavities.
7. Regular Dental Checkups: Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and exams.

What does listerine do for your teeth and gums?

Listerine is a mouthwash that helps maintain oral health by killing bacteria, reducing plaque, and preventing gum disease. It contains antiseptic ingredients that target and eliminate harmful microorganisms in the mouth. Using Listerine can help freshen breath, reduce the risk of cavities, and promote healthier gums when used as part of a regular oral hygiene routine.

What foods are good for teeth and gums?

1. Dairy Products: Cheese, milk, and yogurt provide calcium and phosphates, strengthening teeth.
2. Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other greens contain vitamins and minerals for overall oral health.
3. Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables: Apples, carrots, and celery help clean teeth and stimulate gums.
4. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds and sesame seeds provide essential nutrients for teeth.
5. Fish: Fatty fish like salmon are rich in vitamin D, aiding in calcium absorption.

How to keep teeth and gums healthy naturally?

1. Brush Regularly: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
2. Floss Daily: Clean between your teeth to remove plaque and food particles.
3. Rinse with Natural Mouthwash: Use mouthwash containing natural ingredients like tea tree oil or aloe vera.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet: Include fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy to provide essential nutrients.
5. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to wash away food particles and bacteria.
6. Avoid Sugary Foods: Limit sugar intake to prevent cavities.
7. Regular Dental Checkups: Visit your dentist for cleanings and exams.

Is ginger good for teeth and gums?

Yes, ginger is good for teeth and gums. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help reduce oral bacteria, soothe inflamed gums, and promote overall oral health. Chewing on fresh ginger or drinking ginger tea can contribute to maintaining healthy gums and freshening breath naturally.

How to fill gap between teeth and gum?

1. Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly to maintain gum health.
2. Rinse with Salt Water: This can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.
3. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: This reduces gum irritation.
4. Dental Cleanings: Regular professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar buildup.
5. Gum Treatments: Consult your dentist for potential treatments like scaling, root planing, or gum grafts if needed.

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