Our Dental Health Tips will touch on the importance of fluoride and also why one of your daily habits may actually make you more prone to tooth decay. Read on below for some spring tips to keep your oral cavity healthy!
The Importance of Fluoride
Fluoride is very important in maintaining your oral health. It has certainly been debated over and over in regard to adding it to our water supply. However, applying fluoride topically is both safe and effective for keeping your teeth strong and healthy.
Fluoride is a natural antibacterial agent, which can help reduce harmful bacteria in the mouth. This may also help reduce the chances of developing gingivitis (inflammation of the gums due to harmful bacteria).
Fluoride is also a re-mineralizing agent for the tooth. When you ingest food, the living bacteria in your mouth also ingest food particles producing by-products that cause a reduction in pH in the oral cavity. This reduction of pH to a more acidic level can start the process of breakdown of the teeth. This is how cavities begin. When fluoride is introduced via brushing or rinsing, it helps to buffer the mouth and rebuild areas of the teeth that have superficially been broken down or de-mineralized. However, as the cavity gets deeper, the fluoride is unable to re-mineralize the tooth completely so the tooth must be fixed by having the decay removed and replaced with a filling.
Your Daily Cup of Java
Many people love starting the day with a hot cup of coffee. Then there’s that mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee break. Don’t panic! You don’t have to give it up your caffeine fix. But you might want to take a few things into consideration.
First of all, coffee in itself is not cavity causing. However, what you put in your coffee, how long you linger with it and how often you have a coffee break can cause cavities. If you add milk, cream or sugar to your coffee, listen up! We all know that sugar can put you at higher risk for cavities. Well, milk and cream are cavity-causing culprits too. They are both simple carbohydrates that are easily broken down by bacteria in the mouth, which we’ve just mentioned above, lowers the pH. If you drink coffee with sugar, milk or cream multiple times a day, you are constantly lowering the pH balance in your mouth and raising your risk of tooth decay. If you must have your coffee with sugar, milk or cream, don’t drag out the ritual. Do your best to drink your coffee fairly quickly. In other words, don’t sip on it for an hour since this will accelerate the breakdown of your teeth.
One way to help to neutralize the effects of the milk and sugar is to drink some water right after having your coffee. Better yet, head to the restroom and rinse out your mouth. That will help to wash away most of the remaining sugar and carbohydrate as well as helping to counteract the dehydrating effect of the caffeine.
We all need little reminders. Consider this a little spring-cleaning tip for the mouth to help improve your oral health all year long.