Your Morning Tooth Care Regime – Getting It Right
Starting the day right helps to improve tooth and gum health
When our alarm clock goes off in the morning, making sure that we look after our teeth well is possibly the last thing on our mind, especially if we’ve hit the snooze button and are running late for work. This can be a stressful and hurried time of the day if we don’t leave enough time but it is also an important time for our teeth and gums.
There are a number of actions that we take, or don’t take, at this time of the day that can make a big difference to how healthy our mouth is.
Our Blue Sky Dental team offers a few insights into how a few small changes to our morning habits can have a positive impact on our oral health.
Start the day with water
This is a very simple thing that we can do to get the day off to a good start. Try to have a glass of water at your bedside and drink it when you first wake up. Many of us don’t drink enough water and doing this is a helpful start. Whilst your other morning liquid intake may consist of a pot of tea, it is worth considering that tea can be mildly diuretic and whilst initially refreshing, can also contribute to dehydration (and contribute to stained teeth!)
A word of caution here; some people encourage the addition of fresh lemon juice to the water. Whilst this offers some additional taste, it could lead to tooth damage as lemon juice is relatively acidic and potentially harmful to the enamel.
You may think that because you haven’t eaten anything overnight, cleaning your teeth in the morning is an ‘optional extra’. This is far from the case though as bacterial deposits will have collected on your teeth and in the gum pockets whilst you slept. These bacteria are significant potential contributors to both tooth decay and gum disease and therefore, your morning brushing of the teeth is very important.
Should you brush before or after you have breakfast? There are a range of opinions on this but we feel that if you allow yourself plenty of time so that you can eat first and leave a little time for the enamel to harden afterwards, before brushing your teeth, that is probably ideal. You can then leave for work with clean teeth and gums. On the other hand, if you are a ‘rusher’ in the morning, it is probably better to brush before you eat to make sure that it is done and not forgotten because you are in too much of a hurry.
There is generally no need for our Chelmsford patients to floss in the morning as long as you do so before you go to bed, although if you wish to do so, it may be beneficial.
Our choice of breakfast might depend on how much time we leave. Undoubtedly though, many breakfast products that are available contain very high levels of sugar which may give us a morning ‘boost’ but which also mean that you start the day with your teeth coated in sugar.
Instead of high sugar cereals or even toast and jam or honey, try a sugar free cereal if you want to eat those. Alternative suggestions include boiled or scrambled eggs, no added sugar yoghurt (and avoid the honey) and even cheese; a not too common breakfast food in the UK but commonly eaten at this time across the rest of Europe. In fact cheese not only contains calcium and other minerals which help your tooth health but also helps to balance the PH levels in your mouth which help to reduce enamel erosion.
The bad news for parents is that you need to leave even longer in the morning to make sure that your children also get off to a good start. Whether it is cartoons on the TV or the latest game on their phone, you can be sure that children will often find a way of avoiding doing what they need to do. If you have children, please make sure to supervise whilst they brush their teeth and also avoid sugary cereals. You may have less control about what older children eat but you should still encourage them to brush their teeth well in the morning, even if this does mean taking on the role of being a ‘nagging parent’.
Pack your lunch
Do try to leave time in the morning to pack a tooth friendly lunch. Too many of us rely on shop bought snacks that may be tasty and tempting but may not always be the healthiest thing for our teeth, and probably our overall health too. Taking care of what you eat at lunch as well as breakfast will definitely be healthier for your teeth and probably save you money as well.
For family, cosmetic and specialist dental care in the Chelmsford area of Essex, Blue Sky Dental are here to help you. You can book an appointment with us by calling on 01245 211070 – our friendly team is on hand to take your call!