10 Tips to Look After Your Smile

At The White Bite, we love to help our patients achieve the smile they’ve always wanted. Good oral habits are important in maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile. Our team have put together their top 10 oral health tips to keep your smile in the best possible condition

Tip 1: Brush twice a day

Do you brush your teeth twice a day? Many people assume brushing in the evening is sufficient. However, brushing in the morning is just as important.

During the night, microbes grow in your mouth and create plaque on your teeth. Since your saliva production is reduced while you sleep, your body can’t naturally inhibit their growth. By brushing your teeth in the morning, you can get rid of the plaque and microbe build-up, as well as removing halitosis or “morning breath”.

Brushing in the evening is equally important as it helps to remove food particles (particularly sugar) and plaque that forms during the day. Removing food from teeth helps cut off microbial food supply.

Tip 2: Floss or use inter-dental brushes once a day

Your toothbrush removes most food particles and plaque on your teeth. However, it is hard to clean the small gaps in between your teeth and between your teeth and the gums. Therefore, dentists recommend flossing or using inter-dental brushes once a day.

This method helps remove food particles and bacteria between your teeth and along the gum line, which is the highest risk area for dental disease like dental caries and gingivitis.

Tip 3: Visit the dentist regularly

The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends seeing the dentist every 6 months for a preventative dental visit. These regular dental visits assist your dentist in detecting problems in their early stages, when they’re generally easier to fix. It also allows your dentist to remove calculus build-up, which is plaque that has sat in your mouth for so long that it has actually calcified. This calcified plaque harbours bacteria that cause gum disease and needs to be scrapped away.

Tip 4: Wash out your mouth after eating and drinking

Make sure you wash out your mouth with water after you eat and drink. This helps to neutralise acids and reduces staining on your teeth from drinks such as coffee, tea, and wine.

Foods rich in colour such as berries, soy sauce, or beetroot can stain your teeth as well. A helpful tip to keep in mind is – if the food or drink would leave a stain on a white shirt, it will also stain your teeth.

Tip 5: Avoid lip and tongue piercings

Lip and tongue piercings can chip or crack your teeth. If your piercing constantly rubs on your teeth, it can reduce the thickness of the enamel, the protective layer covering the surface of your teeth. Weak enamel makes the teeth more prone to cracking, dental decay and discolouration.

Your piercings can also irritate your gums and may cause them to recede. This will expose the roots of your teeth, which can lead to increased sensitivity and dental decay.

healthy food choices for strong teeth

Tip 6: Make good food choices

A diet low in sugar and processed foods and rich in fibrous foods such as carrots, apples, celery, fresh vegetables will help to keep your teeth healthy. Hard foods help to prevent biofilm (plaque) build-up and maturation.

Tip 7: Don’t smoke

Smoking weakens your immune system, reduces your saliva production, and influences your oral health enormously. Smokers usually have a weakened bone structure and show signs of gum recession. This can result in tooth loss.

Tip 8: Wear a mouthguard

Protect your teeth during contact sports and wear a custom-made mouthguard. This will help to protect your teeth and jaw in case of a direct impact to the area.

At The White Bite, we offer No Gap mouthguards for all members of private health funds with available dental extras cover. This means you won’t have any out of pocket costs for your mouthguard. If you don’t have private health cover, it’s $125.

Tip 9: Don’t bite on things that aren’t food

A common habit of people is to hold/bite pens, hair clips or even open beer bottles with their teeth. Biting onto hard things can cause your teeth to fracture, chip, or break. Try to avoid such habits whenever possible.

Top 10: Wear a nightguard

Everyone grinds and clenches their teeth at night to some degree. If someone you sleep with notices you are teeth grinding or clenching severely, you should consider wearing a nightguard. It helps to protect your teeth from para-functional wear.

Healthy Teeth at The White Bite

If you have any further questions about how to look after your smile, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team today.

 

World no tobacco day: How does smoking affect your oral health?

The 31st of May is World No Tobacco Day. WNTD is an initiative of the World Health Organization to highlight the risks associated with tobacco use, and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. The World Health Organization is calling on countries to prioritise and accelerate tobacco control efforts as part of their responses to the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

Tactics such as plain packaging, graphic health warnings, increased taxes, and increased funding for initiatives to reduce tobacco usage have helped to reduce consumption and increase awareness in the health problems which are caused by tobacco. Although Australia is a world leader in the push for reducing tobacco usage, there still may be a major problem amongst the population.

Smoking increases your risk of tooth discolouration, oral cancer, and gum problems

There are a number of oral health issues which can be directly related to tobacco usage. Your risk for tobacco-related diseases, such as those affecting your oral health, depends on how long you’ve smoked and the number of cigarettes each day. Tobacco usage puts you at risk of the following oral health problems:

Excessive tooth discolouration

Cigarettes contain both nicotine and tar; two ingredients which when inhaled can greatly affect your risk of tooth discolouration. Although colourless, when nicotine is mixed with oxygen it turns yellow in colour. Both substances can leak into the microscopic openings in your tooth’s enamel resulting in a yellowish/brown colour on the outer layer of the tooth.

Oral cancer

Cancer involves the gradual mutation of healthy cells within your mouth. When you inhale tobacco, harmful chemicals will pass directly through the mouth and throat. Over a period of time, extended exposure to these chemicals can cause changes to your oral cavity, leading to oral cancer.

Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death and disease within Australia. By reducing your tobacco usage or by quitting, you greatly decrease you chance of developing oral cancer.

Gum disease

Gum disease is caused by an infection which destroys the bone surrounding your teeth. People who smoke less than 10 cigarettes per day are two times more likely to develop gum disease, whilst heavier smoker can be four to five times more likely to develop gum disease.

Help The White Bite spread awareness this World No Tobacco Day!

The White Bite is proud to support World No Tobacco Day and spread awareness of the link between tobacco usage and oral health.

Quitting smoking can immediately improve your oral and overall wellbeing. The White Bite, Gold Coast has a range of options to treat tobacco related oral health issues.

If you are experiencing any oral health concerns due to smoking or the use of tobacco, contact The White Bite team today!

The links between your oral health and your overall health

We all know we should brush, floss and attend regular check-ups to ensure our teeth stay healthy, but did you know the health of your mouth is actually closely tied to the health of your entire body?

The links between gum disease and heart disease

Recent studies have found that people who suffer from moderate gum disease have a much higher risk of developing heart disease. The inflammation gum disease causes can enter your bloodstream and result in plaque developing on the inner walls of your arteries; this of course increases your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. It’s even possible for it to enter the inner lining of the heart and cause infection and inflammation, which can cause a condition known as endocarditis. Of course, gum disease also has an effect on your oral health, and puts you at risk of losing teeth if it’s not properly addressed.

More often than not gum inflammation (also known as gingivitis) is simply caused by not brushing and flossing your teeth properly. Provided it’s not too advanced, it can be easily reversed by brushing and flossing, and attending regular cleanings by your dentist. More advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, while not curable, can be managed.

To put it simply, by brushing and flossing daily and attending a regular check-up, you could dramatically reduce your chances of suffering from heart disease, as well as helping you to keep your natural teeth as long as possible.

The magic of saliva

We know what you’re thinking; surely the words saliva and magic don’t belong in the same sentence! While we know it certainly doesn’t look or sound magical, our spit actually plays a really important and under-acknowledge role in the health of our entire body. To keep your body fit visit gympalmdesert.com fitness center.

Without saliva, your food would be very hard to swallow, but did you know it’s also one of your body’s main lines of defence against nasty bacteria and viruses? And yes, this includes the bacteria which cause gum disease.

Most foods are slightly acidic, and some (such as sugar) are highly acidic. After you eat, your saliva gets to work bringing your mouth back to a neutral pH, and trying to stop the nasty bacteria which can cause cavities and inflammation. Of course, it can’t fix everything though; that’s where brushing and flossing gives your body’s natural defences a nice little helping hand.

A word of warning though; while you might think that brushing straight after eating something acidic will help to stop the bacteria attacking your teeth, that’s actually not the case! Acids cause the enamel on our teeth to soften, so if you brush straight away, you risk brushing away the enamel which helps protect your teeth further. It’s best to wait half an hour after eating to allow your saliva to do its important job and for the enamel to re-harden, and then brush.

Keeping yourself and your mouth healthy

A study undertaken by the Academy of General Dentistry concluded that up to 90% of systematic diseases in the human body will have symptoms which present in your mouth. The heart disease link we’re discussed above really only scratches the surface!

Other conditions which have been linked to your oral health include, but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Pneumonia
  • Problems in pregnancy

But by looking after your oral health, you could seriously reduce your risks of these diseases, and more. We think that sounds very worthwhile!

The White Bite – looking after your oral and overall health

At The White Bite, we are passionate about helping our patients to achieve the best possible oral and overall health. If you would like to request an appointment to let us help you keep your health the best it can be, contact us today!