When it comes to looking after the health of your teeth and keeping the enamel as clean, white and attractive as possible, there are certain things such as brushing and flossing which everyone knows about. What many more people might not realise, however, is that the saliva which is naturally present in their mouth also has a vital role to play.
If you pay regular visits to your dentist, then as well as treatments and medication you’ll be accessing a large and highly valuable range of information. Your orthodontist, general dentist and dental hygienist will work as a team to ensure that you are armed with the knowledge to enable you to maintain the improvements they bring about once you’ve gone back home.
A large part of this process will involve making sure that you have the right attitude towards dental hygiene. On one level, this means adapting simple measures such as making sure that you brush twice a day every day, but there are also more complex issues to be considered such as ensuring that the brushing technique you use is the correct one. This means brushing using a gentle circular motion, working down from the gum line, and it also means spending a solid two minutes cleaning all areas of the mouth.
If you sit and watch two minutes tick past on a clock or watch you’ll realise that it’s actually a longer time than you might think, so it’s probably best to invest in an electric toothbrush featuring a built in timer, or a timing device similar to those used in the kitchen. Alongside this advice, you will be told to floss your teeth as well, in order to get at those difficult to reach spots, and to use a mouthwash to remove any lingering bacteria or food debris.
If you take the time and effort to undergo a treatment such as teeth whitening, then it makes sense to take every step to ensure that the effects are maintained in the long term. As well as the above, this will involve listening to your dentist’s advice on matters such as saliva, and vital role it has to play in keeping your teeth healthy.
Of course, it’s easy to take saliva for granted, but the fact that many dentists refer to it as ‘natural mouthwash’ should alert you to the danger of having a mouth which is too dry through a lack of saliva. Saliva has many roles to play. These range from the simple, such as keeping your mouth lubricated and therefore feeling comfortable, to helping to wash away debris and bacteria all the way up to the fact that it contains proteins and minerals which actively prevent tooth decay and protect the enamel of your teeth. There are certain things such as illnesses or medication which can create a dry mouthed condition, but there are steps that you can take to boost your body’s production of saliva.
Saliva is produced when you chew food, as the movement within your mouth exerts pressure on the salivary glands. For that reason, foods such as apple or celery, which take quite a long time to chew, are useful in terms of protecting your teeth, as well as having a fibrous texture which scrubs the enamel. The average person produces between two and four pints of saliva per day, and if you fall below this, you run a much higher risk of developing tooth decay or periodontal disease.
If your mouth feels unnaturally dry then ask your dentist about this. If your saliva levels are low, then they will give you the best advice as to how to set about boosting them. Keeping your mouth moist will increase the pleasure you get from the food you eat as well as protecting the health and appearance of your smile.