Hi! I'm Kyle Hornby and I'm a Family Dentist in Kitchener, ON. I'm big on arming people with dental care tricks and routines to help them avoid cavities. This week, I thought I'd write a short article on quick dental care hacks you can use throughout your day to improve the health of your teeth and gums.
So, without delay, let's get to the kind of tips that will save you money at the dental office!
When you eat, you have fresh dental plaque on your teeth and gums. This plaque fuels harmful bacteria that cause cavities, gingivitis and gum disease.
Now, most people can't get to a toothbrush if they're at work or out at a restaurant. The result is that we experience many periods every week during which dental plaque and irritants sit on our teeth and gums, leading to breakdown of our enamel and a pro-inflammatory environment for our gums.
What if I told you there's a way to cut down on the irritants surrounding your teeth by 80%?
You'd want to know how to do it, right?
Well, swish vigorously with water 2-3 times after your meals and snacks when you can't get to your toothbrush. Push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and try to force the water in between your teeth.
Doing this will end up clearing dental plaque and pushing larger food particles (bountiful fuel sources for the bad bacteria that we don't like) out from in between your teeth.
Over the long haul, developing this dental care habit will drastically reduce the periodic weakening of your tooth enamel that adds up to cavities over time!
Most or all of us brush and floss before bed, right?
Well, doing so is tremendously advantageous because a clean mouth gets a nice regenerative break as we sleep. But is there a way to boost this regeneration?
Absolutely...and it's a little known dental care technique you've probably never heard of.
You can use the fluoride in your toothpaste (or natural Hydroxyapatite, if you don't like fluoride) to bolster your enamel as you sleep.
Let me get off track for a quick second as I realize that many of you will likely not have heard of hydroxyapatite (HA) toothpaste before. I want to explain what HA is and how it can help you...
Hydroxyapatite is an entirely natural component of your tooth enamel and dentin (more specifically, it's the main building block of tooth enamel and dentin). When you brush with HA toothpaste, you're reinforcing your enamel. In doing so, you're making it far more resistant to dental decay and cavities.
This is why HA is a really great thing to "feed" your teeth.
So, how do you feed your tooth enamel?
Well, in the section before this one, I talked about a technique for swishing water, to drive it in between teeth. Doing this can push out dental plaque and food particles.
Well, you can use the exact same technique with Fluoridated or HA toothpaste to get anti-cavity ingredients into hard to reach places. This will allow your tooth enamel to remineralize while you sleep.
How should you do this?
I'm going to tell you because the technique is really important.
Brush for 2-3 minutes (setting a digital kitchen timer is helpful to avoid coming up short on brushing). Spit out the toothpaste and rinse vigorously. If you like to floss after brushing, now is the time for you to floss.
Your last step is to take a pea-sized amount of toothpaste (containing fluoride or hydroxyapatite), and swish it around for 30 seconds, doing your very best to drive it into the spaces between your teeth.
Spit out any excess, and go have a restful sleep!
If you floss after the toothpaste swish, you'll sweep most of the good stuff out from in between your teeth.
So, brush, floss and then execute your power swish!
Now, for our last dental hack...
Most people have heard tons about gut health, probiotics drops, probiotic yogurt, probiotic ...
...well, you get the picture.
About 10-15 years ago, we experienced a renaissance in terms of how we think about bacteria.
We realized that there are a lot of bacterial strains or types out there that help us every day...in fact, many of these we need to stay alive.
That's when you probably started seeing all kinds of probiotic yogurt commercials on TV.
Well, now, we have dental probiotics!
The concept is very similar. Our mouths, much like our gut, are home to millions of bacteria. Some are really helpful to us while others are really harmful. If we create an environment that favours the good kinds, then they'll outcompete the bad kinds. That is, beneficial bacteria will increase in numbers while harmful bacteria decrease in numbers.
So, how do you get dental probiotics? Where can you find them?
You can get dental probiotics in gum and lozenge form at your local health food store or on Amazon. Each probiotic product may contain ingredients that promote the success of beneficial bacteria that do different things.
For instance, some dental probiotics will help you "grow" more bacteria that lead to better breath. Others will help you to decrease cavity-risk while others still will help you to stave off gum disease or Periodontitis.
Again, they'll do this by helping you to decrease bad bacteria that lead to bad breath or halitosis, cavities and tooth decay, and inflammatory gum disease.
So dental probiotics provide a relatively unknown way for you to improve your overall health.
Dental care is really, really important because almost everything that enters your body, does so through your mouth. Anything you eat or drink (and even some of what we breathe) travels through your mouth before entering other parts of the body.
Keeping our mouths clean, tidy and optimized has positive implications for the health and performance of our teeth and gums but things we eat and drink pickup bacteria in our mouths and travel with it throughout our body.
So, keeping things in great shape in the mouth bears positive implications for the health of our entire body! This is why top-level dental care is so crucially important.
The dental care hacks I've shared today are ones I really like because they're so easy. They don't take long and they'll save you money on dental treatment in the long run.
If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us and let us know. I'm always happy to chat with patients!
As always, thanks for reading.
By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener, ON Dentist
Our Dentist Office is located in Downtown Kitchener, Ontario. We are a short drive away for families in Waterloo, Breslau & St. Jacobs. Our central location means we truly offer family dental care near you!
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.