Top 10 Tips for Tip-Top Oral Health
Posted: February 21, 2008
- Drink plenty of water (about 6-8 glasses per day). Water helps to replenish saliva, which is nature s way of keeping your mouth healthy. Saliva contains a high concentration of oxygen that is the natural enemy of the anaerobic bacteria that contribute to bad breath, gum problems, tooth decay, and yellow tooth enamel.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol is a drying agent. The more dry your mouth, the more hospitable environment you ve created for the anaerobic bacteria. A surprising fact is that there is a higher concentration of alcohol in commercial mouthwashes than in a six pack of beer and trust me, beer does not stop bad breath! If you re out on the town and enjoy some wine, simply sip a bit of water afterwards to dilute the drying affect.
- Avoid Smoking. Smoking is one of the top links to yellow teeth, bleeding gums, and bad breath. What more can I say.
- Avoid gum and mints that contain sugar: Sugar feeds oral bacteria. Many very popular mints are full of sugar even though they claim to be breath mints . Sugar is converted by oral bacteria into plaque that leads to gum disease, acids that lead to tooth decay, and sulfur compounds that leads to bad breath.
- Are you brushing your teeth with SOAP? Believe it or not, almost all toothpaste formulas (except TheraBreath brand) use a foaming agent to fool you into thinking that your toothpaste is working. But, they don t it SOAP it s known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It s one of the leading causes of canker sores because it s extremely harsh to the insides of your mouth. And, since we all know that soap is a drying agent and that dry mouth is a major oral problem avoid toothpaste that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.
- 75% of all prescription medications can lead to dry mouth and then bad breath and/or tooth decay. This group includes high blood pressure medication, antihistamines, and antidepressants. If you are taking these medications, make sure you take plenty of water with them.
- Floss, Floss, Floss: The only way to reach the bacteria between your teeth is by physically removing them. The best method for our clinical patients is to take a piece of dental floss and either dip it in the FreshWhite Rinse or coat the floss with FreshWhite Toothpaste and then floss.
- Is your toothbrush damaging your teeth? I ve been a dentist for 33 years and it s a shame that so many of you use a medium or hard bristled brush that literally cuts through precious gum tissue and tooth enamel. Always use a soft bristled nylon brush with our gentle, but effective FreshWhite Toothpaste.
- Foods to avoid for fresh breath: We all know that onions and garlic create bad breath. That s because they contain sulfur compounds. So does curry. But, dairy foods are also a problem. Some oral bacteria break down proteins in dairy foods and extract the sulfur compounds. And, if you re lactose intolerant (a problem that affects 75% of adults) you may end up with sour milk breath due to dairy foods. Coffee is a problem even if it s caffeine free. It s because of the pH of coffee (very acidic) which stimulates oral bacteria.
- Foods that improve your breath: Because a moist mouth is a healthy mouth, look for foods that contain a lot of water or are juicy. This includes apples, strawberries, watermelon, and celery. Tea is a much better alternative than coffee. Some teas contain catechins which have antibacterial and antioxidant qualities.