WASHINGTON - Sometimes it's good to get a helpful reminder, or maybe even some new information, on how to care for our teeth.
Yahoo! Health and U.S. News & World Report have compiled a list of five mistakes to avoid to prevent cavities.
- Put down the bottle: Water is way better for your teeth than sugary and
acidic drinks, but bottled water may not be as good for your teeth as what comes
straight from the tap. Many communities have fluoridated water. Fluoride can help
prevent and reverse tooth decay. Plus, filling a reusable bottle from the tap is
better for the environment.
- Cut the colas: Sugar is bad for teeth and so is citric acid. The
preservative can erode tooth enamel - which can never be replaced. In addition,
even though diet drinks lack sugar, they're still acidic.
- Snack attack: Chewing stimulates salivary flow, which then helps
neutralize acid and rinse away food, says the American Dental Association.
However, snacking on foods means saliva is only being produced for a short time
and may not rinse away food and acid left on teeth. Constant snacking is bad too,
because there's not enough time for the mouth to clean teeth naturally before more
food is introduced.
- Brush better: Don't brush your teeth right after you eat. The mouth
needs time to wash away acids on the teeth. Brushing too soon may work the acids
into teeth, making them weaker. Wait 30 minutes to an hour before brushing.
- Easy does it Use a soft-bristled brush and don't go too fast. Take time
and make sure you get all surfaces, back and front included, and don't forget to
For more information, visit Yahoo! Health.
WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
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