February 13

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Dental hygiene – beat the bugs with an oral detox

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Starting a healthy eating plan probably means you’ll need to splash out on a few essential ingredients.  Meanwhile, a new fitness regime may mean splurging on a pair of trainers or possibly a gym membership.  It’s exactly the same when you want to treat your teeth to a spring clean in your dental hygiene routine.

The good news is, you don’t need to spend a fortune putting together all the tools you need for the ultimate dental detox.  Simply, head to your nearest supermarket or pharmacy and stock up on the following:

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New toothbrush to clean teeth properly

It’s important to change your toothbrush around every 3 months, or sooner if the tufts have become worn or splayed.  Opt for a small to medium-sized head with soft to medium tufts.  Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably before breakfast and last thing at night before you got to bed.  

It’s especially important to brush before bed as saliva production slows down during the night, leaving your teeth at greater risk of decay.  Ask your dentist for advice on how to brush your teeth properly.

Toothpaste is an important tool for dental hygiene

Toothpaste is an important tool for dental hygiene

Always make sure you buy toothpaste that contains fluoride. This mineral helps strengthen and protect the teeth, protecting them from decay.  You only need to use a pea-sized amount on your brush.

Dental Floss or Tape

Helps to remove plaque and food debris from between teeth and around the gums – areas a toothbrush can’t easily reach.  It’s a good idea to floss at least once daily, preferably after your last meal.

Sugar Free Gum and its role in good dental hygiene

Sugar Free Gum plays an important role in good dental hygiene

Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after every meal increases the production of saliva by up to 10 times.  This extra saliva helps to wash away particles of food, neutralise acids in the mouth and helps put minerals back into the teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay by up to 40 percent.  In fact, almost all dentists now recommend chewing sugar free gum regularly after eating and drinking to help fight decay.

Improve your dental hygiene with mouthwash

antiseptic mouthwash important for dental hygiene between meals

Using a mouthwash can help to freshen breath and kill bacteria.  Opting for one that contains fluoride can help to reduce decay.

Make a Dentist Appointment

If you haven’t visited a dentist for a while, make an appointment.  Adults should visit the dentist at least once a year. No one can do more in helping your improve your dental hygiene.

And finally, here's how to keep your toothbrush clean and free from bugs

Toothbrushes can be germ magnets if they’re not used or stored properly. 

Never share your toothbrush with friends, partners or relatives.  It’s the easiest way to spread germs.

Likewise, make sure toothbrushes don’t touch each other when they’re not being used. Bacteria that cause mouth infections can easily spread if toothbrushes have contact with each other.  Avoid this by giving every family member their own toothbrush mug. Alternatively, use a holder that keeps brushes separate.

Don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in an enclosed container – a humid environment will cause more bacteria to grow.  After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly, allow it to dry and then store in an upright position.

About the author

Paul Stokes

Paul Stokes BSc (Hons) is a Certified Personal Trainer, Accredited Sports Nutritionist, qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Precision Nutrition coach, Massage Therapist and teaches 8 of the Les Mills Group Exercise programs. He currently works in the Oil & Gas industry as a Wellness Coach, imparting his vast knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life of several hundred offshore workers.

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