Dentists and Dental Hygienists are a wealth of knowledge and information. And when it comes to getting sound advice about the care and health of your mouth, teeth, and gums they are certainly the people to ask.
However more often than not, our short 6 monthly visits (if that) do not give these professionals enough time to bestow all their wisdom on you before you run out of their treatment room - because let's be honest - you can’t wait to see the back of a dental clinic.
While most of us know the basics - brush twice a day, floss regularly, don’t eat hard candy, etc - some of what doesn’t get said in the dentist chair because of time (and you high-tailing it out of there), can actually be game-changing for the health, longevity, and shine of your pearly whites and overall oral care.
So here are 7 tips your dentist more than likely hasn’t gotten around to telling you...
Tip 1 - Grind Your Teeth? Try to Correct Your Breathing
Ninety-five percent of us don’t have the room in our mouths for all of our 32 teeth. Not having enough room in your mouth narrows your airways and the amount of oxygen you breathe in and out. Research is widely supporting that teeth grinding is strongly linked to breathing sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea. Therefore working on how you breath can greatly reduce teeth grinding which results in wearing and cracking of the teeth, broken fillings, headaches, and sore jaws.
But how do you learn to breathe “the right way”? Read on.
Tip 2 - Forget Mouthguards - Tape Your Mouth Shut...Seriously!
Learning to breathe through your nose might be difficult for some. However, when you breathe through your noses you stabilize your body chemistry. It also improves sleep and evens out your breathing. When you are breathing optimally for body function, grinding of your teeth is significantly reduced.
Taping your mouth shut while you sleep will help you practice the art of nose breathing and bring regularity back to each breath. So forget expensive mouthguards and grab yourself a roll of Micropore tape for a few dollars and give it a go!
Tip 3 - Too Much Fluoride Can Damage Your Teeth
While fluoride can harden your teeth too much of a good thing can be detrimental.
Things to know about fluoride; it’s neurotoxic, it can affect a child’s IQ, it can be a problem in young male bone development, it’s been linked to bone cancer, it affects thyroid function.
There are much better and safer ways to maintain strong, healthy teeth that won’t put your overall health in jeopardy - try oil pulling or remineralizing toothpaste as an alternative to fluoride.
Tip 4 - You Must Spend More Than 2 Minutes Brushing Your Teeth
A real and thorough cleaning of the surface of your teeth takes more than the usual 2 minutes on average a person spends brushing his teeth in the morning. In fact spending at least 4-5 minutes brushing twice a day is the recommended time it actually takes to make a difference.
However, to utilize this time effectively, ditch the idea of scrubbing your teeth. Plaque is super soft and will only be removed via soft polishing strokes of your toothbrush. So, when brushing think about polishing and massaging your teeth and gums rather than moving your brush back and forward rapidly (i.e. scrubbing).
Tip 5 - Getting Mouth Ulcers? Avoid Grains
Mouth ulcers (aphthous ulcers) are an autoimmune response and are common for a lot of us. Grains produce a protein called zonulin. When too much zonulin builds up in the body, it can cause a leaky gut. (when undigested food particles, partially digested food particles or toxic substances seep through the gut lining into your blood, causing all sorts of problems) This then results in a whole range of autoimmune conditions.
Tip 6 - Sugar is Not Your Only Enemy
Your dentist tells you to cut down on sugar - and he or she is absolutely correct. Sugar creates a welcoming environment for bad bacteria to nest, reproduce, and cause tooth decay. However starchy food such as bread and pasta, as well as acidic citrus foods like lemons and grapefruit can have the same harmful effect on your teeth.
Tip 7 - Opt For a Non-Toxic Toothpaste
Did you know that most toothpaste contain substances that you would never want to ingest like sodium lauryl sulfate and fluoride? Try using a toothpaste that is non-toxic or try brushing with an oil blend which is good for you and can be more effective than a regular tube of toothpaste.