Believe it or not the homecare of your oral health is the most important thing you can carry out and it isn’t difficult or expensive but does need a level of organization and devotion.
The recipe for dental disease to happen can be summed up by three factors displayed in this diagram:
Of these three factors the natural hardness of ones teeth is the least important.
What you eat and drink:
By far the worst possible thing in our diet for our teeth and in fact diabetes are sweet sugary drinks.
The high acidity drinks such as “Red Bull” and “V” follow very closely behind sugary drinks.
If one thinks that diet drinks are better then this incorrect. These drinks have high acidity levels.
Natural fruit juices also have very high acidity. Natural fruit juices need to be diluted 5:1 before they are safe for teeth.
Soda stream (carbonated) water i.e. carbon dioxide and water makes carbolic acid with an acidity of pH3 approximately.
This is only slightly improved on other acidic drinks.
Sugars in fruit and other foods are less destructive than the above mentioned drinks as there is usually fibre within the food which has a diluting effect.
How do these destructive drinks/food attack our oral structures?
Bacteria in our mouths make plaque. These bacteria consume the sugars in our mouth to create acid. The acid softens the enamel on our teeth. This begins cavities.
Acidic drinks have acid in them already and wash over all surfaces of our teeth and causes softening of the enamel on our teeth and over all erosion of the tooth surface. Long term erosion thins the enamel which is the protective coating on teeth.
Once this is gone destruction will occur.
Bacteria in plaque also attack the gum tissues making them inflamed and easy to bleed – this is called gingivitis. Long term gingivitis can progress to the destruction the bone holding the teeth in and this is called periodontal disease.
The natural hardness of teeth
There is a genetic factor on how hard our teeth are which can vary from person to person. This is a matter of luck how hard out teeth are from this point of view.
During tooth development fluoride that is added into the water supply or as fluoride tablets taken in non fluoridated areas can markedly strengthen teeth.
The use of fluoridated toothpaste can certainly harden the tooth enamel the rest of our lives.
How you care for your teeth and gums
Many people make the mistake of brushing their teeth after consuming sweet foods or drinks. This is precisely the wrong thing to do. As mentioned these products soften the enamel on teeth very quickly and if we brush as this stage a layer of tooth enamel is removed.
If we wait two hours after sweet or acidic foods the protective agents in our saliva will re-harden the enamel and this is the time to brush and floss teeth.
Do not use hard brushes or press too hard with a brush. A good electric brush does an excellent job.
After acidic or sweet foods eat something like a piece of cheese or a drink of natural water or milk.