Giving mouth bacteria fewer chances to eat and have bacterial babies is important – the more microbes in your mouth, the greater the chances of dental decay. This is because the waste matter produced by these bacteria is acidic and can literally burn a hole in your teeth. They can also cause horrid halitosis (from the smelly gases they produce). Ready to keep your mouth clean? Here’s rt healthy teeth’s top tips!
- Brush light and right. Using a toothpaste containing fluoride and a soft or medium bristled brush, clean every surface of your teeth using circular movements. A small-headed brush allows you to reach the difficult-to-get to areas, maximising your clean.
- Protect with fluoride. This mineral hardens enamel to help defend against acids produced by mouth bacteria and from the acids in foods and drinks.
- Let it air. When you’ve finished brushing, rinse your brush, shake off the extra water and place your brush head side up in a glass or container. The bacteria in your mouth hate oxygen so by exposing the bristles to air, it helps kill bacteria lingering on the brush. And, to reduce the possibility of cross contamination, don’t let your toothbrush head come into contact with someone else’s brush.
- Floss frequently. Flossing removes tiny particles of food stuck between teeth and at the gum line. To protect your gums though, never press too hard. Flossing is important for little ones too – did you know that as soon as teeth touch, your child can begin to floss? Bring your children in to see their dentist and learn the most effective way to floss.
- Replace it. As soon as it shows signs of wear, get yourself a new toothbrush to ensure maximum cleaning capacity.
- Brush your tongue. The majority (around 80-90%) of bad breath is caused by bacteria on the top of the tongue. Non-bacterial causes can include certain foods, smoking, alcohol, hormonal changes, dehydration and/or hunger. So, after brushing your teeth, gently brush the surface of your tongue.
- Watch your diet. Food and drinks have a big impact on your oral health. Most of us know that foods and drinks thatcontain sugars provide food for oral bacteria. But did you know that acidic foods/drinks can etch away at enamel, increasing the potential for damaged teeth, which are more difficult to keep clean? Dry mouth, which can be triggered by some illnesses, certain medications and too much alcohol, can also cause bad breath. Since oxygen-containing saliva cleanses the teeth, lack of saliva gives anaerobic (air-hating bacteria) a chance to thrive. Food that gets stuck in the mouth also acts as fuel for odour-producing bacteria while foods with a strong smell can trigger short-term bad breath all on their own.
rt healthy teeth is located at 1 Buckingham Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010. Call 1300 991 044 to make an appointment or visit rthealthcentre.com.au for more information.
 University at Buffalo. Specific Bacterium Found in 100 Per Cent of Halitosis Patents. http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2008/03/9291.html