10 Super Simple Tips for Building Strong Teeth
Over 80 percent of people in the U.S. consider healthy teeth key to success in life.
This makes it even more surprising that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. And, a shocking 36 million Americans have no teeth at all.
Tooth decay, gum disease, accidents and illnesses like cancer can all contribute to tooth loss. But, with good dental hygiene, regular checkups and a healthy diet, you can help build strong teeth and keep your pearly whites from breaking or chipping.
Find out how to strengthen your teeth with our top ten tips.
1. Brush Twice a Day
The easiest way to strengthen your teeth is to make a habit of brushing twice a day.
The American Dental Association (ADA) advises you to brush your teeth for two minutes in the morning and two minutes at night. Most people find it convenient to brush their teeth after breakfast and before bed.
Your morning brush helps to get rid of the plaque that has formed overnight, as well as particles of food from breakfast. And, brushing last thing at night cleans away the food and bacteria that has accumulated during the day, leaving your teeth fresh and plaque-free before bed.
Don’t forget to brush your tongue too, as particles and bacteria can settle there and cause bad breath. And, we’d also advise switching to an electric toothbrush if you haven’t already. Not only do they time your brushing routine to make sure it’s a full two minutes, but electric toothbrushes also provide a much more thorough clean than a regular toothbrush.
2. Don’t Over-Brush
As with most things in life, you can have too much of a good thing.
Brushing your teeth more than the recommended total of four minutes per day will not strengthen teeth. In fact, it could have the opposite effect, as too much brushing can wear down the layer of enamel protecting your teeth.
Enamel is strong enough to protect your teeth from everything that happens in the environment of your mouth. But, when tooth enamel is worn down, this exposes the layer of dentin underneath. Dentin is full of tiny holes which lead to nerve endings. And, when these are triggered by eating, drinking or brushing, this leads to sensitivity and tooth pain.
Stick to brushing twice a day, and use a toothpick or floss if you have something stuck in your teeth after a meal. If you do need to brush after eating, it’s best to wait for around an hour, especially if you’ve eaten sweets or anything acidic. Acidic foods soften your teeth’s protective layer of enamel and can make it easier for you to damage it.
You can also wear down your tooth enamel if you brush too hard or too fast. If you’re using a manual toothbrush, aim for short, gentle strokes. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, guide the brush along your teeth and let the oscillating head do the work.
3. Use Fluoride
Called “nature’s cavity fighter” by the ADA, fluoride helps with strengthening teeth by boosting enamel. It also helps to repair teeth against the early stages of tooth decay. And, fluoride makes your teeth more resistant to damage caused by acids from bacteria in your mouth.
The best way to take advantage of fluoride’s benefits is to always use a fluoride toothpaste. You can also rinse with a fluoride mouthwash to keep your tooth enamel strong and prevent cavities.
4. Keep Hydrated
When it comes to finding out how to strengthen your teeth, it pays to ensure that your whole mouth is clean and healthy.
Keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water is one way to do that. Saliva helps our mouths naturally wash away the food particles and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Saliva also reduces the damaging effect of acidic foods on tooth enamel. By drinking water, you can avoid food sticking around in your mouth for too long. Plus, dry mouth can lead to bad breath as a result of excess bacteria.
Some medications, such as the weight loss drug phentermine, can cause dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. And certain medical conditions can also result in a dry mouth. If water doesn’t seem to rehydrate you as it should, talk to your doctor about possible treatments or remedies.
5. Floss Every Day
If you want to avoid your dentist having to scrape your teeth at your next checkup, get flossing.
Regular flossing loosens up the particles that regular brushing can’t always reach. And, dental floss can be handy for getting out difficult food debris, such as corn kernels, potato chips, and seeds, after a meal.
Flossing also removes plaque, meaning that there is less chance of tartar building up, strengthening teeth in the long run. While good dental hygiene with brushing and flossing can remove plaque, only your dentist can get rid of tartar once it forms.
6. Get Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining the health of your teeth. The ADA advises seeing your dentist every six months.
These visits will be an opportunity for your dentist to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove tartar build-up. But, your dentist will also check your teeth for signs of trouble, such as cavities or gum disease. It’s crucial to catch these problems before they do any major damage or result in tooth loss.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, your dentist will also be able to advise you about cosmetic procedures, such as dental implants – learn more here if this is something you’re interested in.
7. Eat Foods That Protect Enamel
Good oral hygiene is the foundation for healthy teeth. But, a healthy diet also contributes to the strength of your teeth and gums.
Fruits, vegetables and dairy products promote good overall health and ensure that your body gets the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your teeth strong. Plus, crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples help to clean your teeth, keeping them healthy and white.
And milk, cheese, and other dairy products help to protect and strengthen tooth enamel. This is because the calcium these foods contain counters acids in your mouth, helping you to avoid tooth decay.
This calcium also keeps your bones and teeth strong. So, if you don’t eat dairy, search for foods with added calcium to strengthen teeth naturally.
8. Limit Sugary Food and Drink
As well as eating healthy foods to support good oral health, it’s important to limit your consumption of foods and drinks that can negatively affect your teeth.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar in foods and drinks such as cakes and soda. These form acids which soften your tooth enamel and cause it to wear away. And, although diet soda is better for your teeth than sugary sodas, the acid in the artificial sweeteners these drinks contain still destroys enamel over time.
Once acid begins to eat away at the enamel, this creates cavities and leaves stains on your teeth. The acid also erodes the inner structure of your teeth and can lead to inflammation, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Chewy candies and hard candies are particularly bad as they stick to your teeth and cause extra damage. So, try to avoid these and opt for plain water when you’re feeling thirsty.
9. Don’t Smoke
We all know that smoking is bad for our health. But, it has a huge negative effect on our teeth and oral health too.
Not only can smoking cause stained teeth and bad breath, but it also weakens your immune system. This reduced ability to fight off infection is a major contributor to gum disease, which results in inflammation around the tooth.
This, in turn, can affect the supporting structures of your teeth, and in its advanced stages often leads to tooth loss.
10. Avoid Grinding Your Teeth
Other bad habits, such as grinding your upper and lower teeth together, can also weaken and wear down your tooth enamel.
And, as most people who grind their teeth tend to do it during the night while sleeping, they may not even be aware of this issue.
If you are experiencing sensitivity or jaw ache, this could be a sign that you grind your teeth. Talk to your dentist about this. He or she may be able to fit you with a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth during the night.
Great Tips for Building Strong Teeth
A holistic and consistent approach to self-care practices is the key to maintaining good physical and mental health.
And building strong teeth is no different. To ensure that your teeth remain healthy, you must make a commitment to excellent dental hygiene. But for optimum oral health, you also need to follow a healthy lifestyle and seek regular professional care.
Do you follow these tips for strong and healthy teeth? Leave a comment below, or feel free to contact with any questions or feedback!