The best way to remove plaque from your teeth is to brush them with a toothbrush and toothpaste regularly, and of course to come see us at Dental Partners of Boston, among the best dentists in Boston. However, it is not always possible or practical to rush home and brush your teeth, or to carry a toothbrush around with you. In situations where you can’t brush, here are three things your dentist wishes you would do instead.
1. Water Rinse
Simply swishing water around your mouth can remove leftover traces of food that would otherwise be a feast for bacteria. By reducing the sugars available for bacteria to eat, you can help to prevent them from multiplying and therefore help to protect your teeth from the acids they produce as waste. Between meals, keep sipping water to keep your mouth clean and moist and your body well hydrated.
2. Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing fresh and minty sugar-free gum after a meal not only makes your breath smell better, but it could also help to protect your teeth. Chewing causes your body to produce more saliva, which is full of enzymes that break down bacteria and prevent them from damaging your teeth. Choose a gum that is sweetened with a tooth-friendly sweetener, such as sorbitol or xylitol, rather than sugar or glucose syrup.
3. Toothpaste Tablets
A toothpaste tablet is a dental hygiene product that contains many of the same ingredients as toothpaste. However, you do not need access to a toothbrush or clean water to use a toothpaste tablet. All you have to do is chew on the tablet so that it mixes into a paste with your saliva. Toothpaste tablets typically contain fluoride, which is a natural mineral that can help to strengthen your teeth. They also contain abrasives, which rub against your teeth as you chew to scrub away dental plaque. This process isn’t as thorough as carefully brushing the teeth with a toothbrush, but it is a good alternative when you cannot get to your toothbrush. Finally, toothpaste tablets contain sweeteners and flavorings to make your breath smell fresh.
Dental flossers are great for getting between your teeth after meals away from home. Often decay starts between the teeth when food is caught between the teeth for hours at a time. Trapped food can also irritate the gums and cause swelling, which is uncomfortable, and increases the risk of gum disease.
Get into the habit of carrying a bottle of water, a packet of chewing gum, a few dental flossers, and some toothpaste tablets around with you. Once you are prepared with these items, you can clean your teeth in any situation, therefore helping to protect them from dental decay. Don’t forget to keep up with your regular brushing and flossing routine and come see us for regular cleanings. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!