Last week, we talked about finding a way to stay cavity-free in 2015. It’s easy to talk about big goals, but harder to work out the specifics that will make those larger aspirations come true. That’s why this week’s post is about getting disease-free on a day-to-day basis. If you know how to structure your daily habits, activities, and diet around a healthy smile, then you’ll find it simple to achieve long-term well-being. And we’re here to provide you with the tools that will help along the way.

A Model Day for Awesome Oral Health

This routine might seem a bit involved at first glance, but once you get accustomed to living your life in a tooth-healthy fashion, you won’t give these habits a second thought. Plus, the dietary choices we recommend aren’t just great for your teeth, but also for your entire body. Healthy smile and a healthy self? Sounds good to us!

Try out a day like this for yourself, and you’ll see just how simple it really is.

  • Brush your teeth – before breakfast – We know that the common phrase is “brush after meals.” But in most cases, it’s actually best to brush before you eat. When you drink acidic beverages, the enamel on your teeth softens. Brushing immediately after can cause permanent damage to your enamel. It’s safest to wait at least an hour after breakfast to brush, especially if you tend to drink fruit juice. If you’re concerned about bad breath post-eating, rinse with mouthwash before leaving the house.
  • Eat a nutrient-rich, low-sugar breakfast – Your breakfast is going to kickstart your day. With healthy choices and the right nutrients, you’ll find yourself leaping into your activities with energy and excitement. Make sure to have some lean protein at breakfast time, as well as some fresh fruit or vegetables. If you have a sugary breakfast, you’ll feel energy for a little while, but eventually experience a crash.
  • Snack wisely – When you eat snacks, your teeth are put at a heightened risk. Without a full mouth to trigger saliva, your mouth can stay dry, leading to a gingivitis- and plaque-friendly environment. Make sure to choose snacks that are good for your mouth (and body), like raw vegetables, plain yogurt, nuts, and cheese. And rinse with water after snacking – which brings us to our next tip:
  • Drink water! – Make water, seltzer, herbal tea, or milk your drink of choice – and bid soda and all-day coffee farewell. We know it can be tough to wean yourself off caffeine, especially if you’re used to having it throughout the day. But cola and coffee stain enamel and erode your teeth with their acidity. And drinking water not only cleanses your teeth and washes away food particles, it also makes you feel pretty darn good.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools – Don’t be the victim of a dental emergency. Avoid using your teeth to bite into anything other than food to keep them intact. It’s quick and easy to reach for the scissors or the bottle opener instead.
  • Have a balanced dinner – We tend to have more time to prepare dinner than the other meals we consume each day, so it’s great to make it count. Catch up on the vegetables and protein you might have missed during the day. If you have red wine with dinner, rinse your teeth afterwards to avoid stains.
  • Floss before bed – Flossing after a full day of eating will remove food particles from between the teeth, and make sure your mouth is as clean as possible before the long night’s rest. This disrupts the formation of plaque, and also helps you wake up with fresh breath. Wondering when exactly you should floss? Some studies show that flossing before brushing can give fluoride toothpaste a better chance of reaching the nooks and crannies between teeth, strengthening enamel more evenly.
  • Wear a night guard – Struggle with grinding your teeth? Get a custom mouth guard to protect your enamel and help prevent wear (as well as jaw disorders).

We are always available to be your allies in working toward improved oral health and a beautiful smile. Don’t hesitate to call us at (206) 362-3200 whenever you have something on your mind!

Seattle General Dentist | General Dentistry Canker Sores | Canker Sores Treatment Seattle
Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.