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Oral care for foodies

by HungryGoWhere Writer

HungryGoWhere Writer - 10 April 2014 4:12 PM | Updated 10 Jun 2014

Oral care for foodies

At HungryGoWhere, we know that Singaporeans are all foodies at heart. From hawker favourites to rustic, old world cuisine and exotic flavours from the far-flung corners of the world, food from all over gives us joy, and we are always searching for new culinary experiences.

But while we enjoy eating, how many of us know what it takes to maintain good dental hygiene?

You might brush your teeth after lunch to mask the cheese platter you ate, but bad breath (or halitosis) is just one issue to think about.

Oral B is here to offer some tips on how you can keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape for years to come.

The chief cause of oral health problems are carbohydrates. Anything sweet or starchy – and anything that clings to teeth – will leave residual carbohydrates. These carbs then fuel bacteria which cause plaque and can eventually lead to tooth decay and gum diseases such as gingivitis. Bacteria can begin producing plaque just 20 minutes after a meal.

If that sounds scary, don't worry, by following a simple routine, you can win the battle hands down.

First things first, brush your teeth twice a day – no ifs, ands or buts! If you're a regular snacker (and who isn't), you should consider brushing more than that. Flossing once a day is just as important to keep the spaces between teeth squeaky clean while rinsing with mouthwash will kill germs and provide a healthy dose of fluoride to protect tooth enamel. As diligently as you brush, floss and rinse, your dentist knows best, so be sure to make regular appointments (twice a year) for a professional clean and assessment. Your dentist is your greatest ally in nipping potential problems in the bud.

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Here's a step-by-step guide on how to brush, floss and rinse to maximum effect.

Brushing

  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line.
  • When brushing your teeth, move the brush back and forth gently over the front, back and top (chewing surface) of your teeth. Don’t scrub hard along the gum line; you can irritate your gums.
  • Remember to brush (and floss) behind your lower (bottom) front teeth. Use the top bristles of the brush to reach this area. If this area is hard for you to reach with regular floss, try a floss holder or disposable flosser.

Flossing

  • Wind: Wind 18 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a one- to two-inch length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
  • Guide: Keep a one- to two-inch length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  • Glide: Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. Do not snap floss between your teeth. Contour floss around the side of the tooth.
  • Slide: Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

Rinsing

  • Use the right amount of mouthwash. The best way to do this is to use a dispenser.
  • Read the label and dilute if necessary. Do not dilute your mouthwash if you are not instructed to as this may diminish its germ-killing benefits.
  • Ensure that you swirl the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute before you spit it out.
  • Remember that while rinsing complements flossing and twice-daily brushing, it is not a replacement for them.

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