Teething troubles

Did that last cavity take you by surprise? Ten minutes of brushing before you head to work every morning just isn’t enough; here are some tips to keep your teeth snapping healthy 24/7
     Print Edition: Mar 16, 2014
Teething troubles
Using an extra-hard toothbrush could cause abrasion of the tooth enamel and injure your gums.

Mull on the floss
Contrary to popular opinion, flossing doesn't exactly amount to overkill. An essential part of any oral health care routine, it helps remove plaque from between your teeth - where  the toothbrush is unable to reach - and prevents gum disease and dental decay.     

The 'sweet' attack
Eating sugar doesn't cause tooth decay in itself; it's how long the sugar stays on the teeth that bares your mouth to bacterial attack. Bacteria usually feed on the sugar and excrete damaging acid that can eat through the enamel, forming cavities. So, if you have candy, be sure to brush as soon as you can.

Don't overbrush
Contrary to popular opinion, using your toothbrush too enthusiastically could permanently damage your teeth and gums, and people who do this may actually risk harming themselves. Beyond a point, brushing can cause abrasion of tooth enamel and injury to the gums. Dentists say it should be done gently, with bristles standing at a 45-degree angle to the teeth. Also, ensure that the toothbrush is a 'soft' one.
Quit smoking
While it's common knowledge that nicotine stains teeth, the burning paper contains chemicals that can cause its discolouration. Besides this, the heat in the smoker's mouth can impede blood circulation and encourage gum disease.

Use a bottle opener
At parties, do you bite beer bottles open to boost your macho image? The way such stunts make your teeth chip away, your grin won't be such a big hit with the ladies in five years. Using your teeth to open potato chip packets isn't a great idea either.

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