Did you know that acidic foods can do more damage to your teeth than sugar? And did you also know that small toothbrushes are often much more effective than big ones? While most of us know the basic facts about keeping our teeth clean and healthy, many of the most important facts tend to be ignored or glossed over as ‘too complicated’ or simply unnecessary.
Your teeth are the first thing that most people will notice about you, and keeping them healthy and clean is a vital skill. Read on to learn seven rarely known but absolutely essential facts for keeping your teeth clean and healthy. If you internalize even one of these facts, you’ll enjoy a bright smile and healthy dental life that far exceeds that of your peers.
1. Small-headed toothbrushes are the most effective
Despite all the advertising suggesting that the ideal toothbrush needs to be powered by a huge electronic engine and fitted with monumental brushes, most dentists suggest using a toothbrush that’s small enough to reach into the gaps between your teeth.
While big brushes might clean your teeth faster, they tend to miss small spots that collect food debris and plaque. Use a toothbrush with a smaller head to clean your teeth without missing a single spot.
2. Acid can damage your teeth just as much as sugar
Eating foods high in citric acid can cause just as much damage to your teeth as loading up on sugar-filled beverages. Because of the erosion caused by acidic foods and drinks, drinking a large glass of orange juice can cause just as much damage to your teeth as a can of cola.
The solution? Instead of drinking orange juice and cola from a can, use a straw to bypass the teeth entirely and drink more easily. If you’re serious about your dental and digestive health, it might be best to give up sugar-filled drinks and fruit juices entirely.
3. Old toothbrushes are germ hotspots
Have you ever stopped to think about how much bacteria is living on your old toothbrush? While sun exposure and fresh air kill off a great deal of the bacteria that make their homes on your brush, old toothbrushes are still a haven for smelly, tooth-damaging bacteria.
Keep your toothbrush clean and free of germs by rinsing it in freshwater before putting it back in its cup, and by replacing your toothbrush when it starts to get old. Quickly discard old brushes and make sure that two different toothbrushes don’t come in contact on your counter.
4. Sticky foods cling to teeth and cause damage
Sticky foods like toffee and fudge combine the worst of the worst. Not only are the full of sugar that causes rapid tooth decay, but they’re sticky and small enough to infiltrate the tight spaces between your teeth.
Avoid coffee, fudge, candy, and other sticky foods if you want your teeth to remain healthy and free of issues. Not only are they bad for your teeth, but these foods tend to be full of calories and sugar and a leading cause of diabetes and obesity.
5. Sweet foods before bed hurt your teeth and your waistline
Eating sweet foods before bed is a recipe for disaster. Not only does sugar increase the amount of insulin in your blood, increasing the chances of weight gain during sleep, it also clings to your teeth and does major damage to your smile.
6. Small pieces of debris can cause monumental toothaches
Many of the toothaches that we mistakenly attribute to root damage and cracks in our teeth are actually caused by debris that’s been dislodged in our mouths. Keep debris and unchewed food out of your mouth by chewing all your meals thoroughly and flossing your teeth often.
7. Chipped teeth aren’t healthy — they’re often at risk
While chipped teeth aren’t aesthetically appealing, many people believe that they’re just as good as an un-chipped tooth when it comes to strength. Unfortunately, it’s not the truth. Chipped teeth are like a cracked wall — they’re not just bad looking, but they’re structurally weak. Get chipped teeth fixed as soon as possible to prevent long-term dental issues from forming.