5 Tips to Keep your Mouth Healthy Between Meals
Food. It’s not just a way to nourish your body and gain energy; food has turned into an art form. It’s a way of connecting with others. A source of happiness and good feelings. A way of life, if you will.
However, food is not always a good thing. Sometimes, food can make your breath smell, leave your mouth feeling dirty or even harm your teeth.
Certain foods can wear down enamel, cause sensitivity, stain and even make your breath smell less than favourable. Even if you eat a meal that doesn’t affect your oral health, your mouth can often get “stale” between meals, causing dryness and bad breath. While this may seem intimidatingly inevitable, there are actually many workarounds to keep your mouth as fresh and clean as possible between meals. Check out five of our favourites below.
1. Keep an Eye on Carbs
Like we mentioned earlier, certain foods can cause damage to your mouth. One of the biggest culprits of this are carbohydrates like bread, pasta and sugars. Bacteria, which is what causes many of the major dental issues related to food, loves to feast on sugar. Whether it’s a pre-existing sugar, like in jam or candy, or a carbohydrate that has been converted to sugar by your body, like potato chips, any bacteria in your mouth is ready to make a meal out of it.
Highly acidic foods like citrus, alcohol or pickles can also cause damage to your mouth, just in a different way. The acids wear down the enamel on your teeth and can cause sensitivity and staining. In addition to acidic foods, drinks like soda, tea and alcohol also have the ability to stain your teeth. If your smile is looking a little dull, try limiting these foods and drinks in your diet for a while.
If you want a healthier mouth that feels cleaner for longer, try switching some of the above foods out for lean meats, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. If you’re not sure about giving up on carbs and acidic foods, try ony eating them during those meals when you know you’ll have the chance to brush your teeth immediately after.
2. Chew Gum or Mints
You don’t need us to tell you that having an after-dinner mint after a garlicky meal is a good way to freshen up. However, do you know how chewing gum or mints benefits the actual health of your teeth? It’s quite simple.
Minty gum or chewable mints promote saliva production in your mouth. Saliva helps the re-mineralization process of teeth, making them stronger. Saliva also helps rinse away any residue left after a meal. Plus, the minty scent does help mask the odour of any strong-smelling foods.
3. Stay Hydrated
Did you know that drinking water can help the health of your entire body, including your internal organs, your skin, your hair and your mental cognition? Believe it or not, water can even help keep your teeth healthy and your mouth fresh between meals.
Not only does it help rinse away any leftover food residue, it also keeps your mouth moist. Bacteria, the stuff that causes your breath to smell, thrives in dry environments, so by staying hydrated, bacteria won’t stand a chance.
4. Limit Snacking
Just like limiting your sugars and carbohydrates at meals will help you stay fresh, limiting snacks will do the same thing. The more you snack, the more food particles you’ll have building up in your mouth. Bacteria will feed on these food particles, spread throughout your mouth, and you’ll be left with a very strong desire to brush your teeth.
If you are starving for a snack, try to keep it low sugar. Snacks like carrot and celery sticks are a smart choice. Not only are they low on sugar and good for your body, they also have a high water content, which will help keep your mouth moist.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
If you’ve tried all the above tips and still feel like your mouth isn’t up to satisfaction, try scheduling a cleaning with your dentist’s office. Experts like the staff at our Blackburn dental clinic can provide comprehensive dental work to the whole family. Schedule an appointment to sit down, have your teeth cleaned and discuss further measures you can take with a dentist to keep your mouth feeling fresh all the time.