My teeth look nice enough – especially after I use whitening strips for a few days – but they are sensitive. Over-brushing as a child has led to receding gums and teeth that are sensitive to cold and heat. There’s toothpaste that helps with that.
Now, I have another problem. Chewing is becoming hazardous to my dental health. I have two broken teeth to prove it. But I have learned a few helpful tips that I would like to share, so that you too can keep your teeth healthy and whole.
1. Raw almonds can break your teeth. It happened to me. My cousin suggested SOAKING raw almonds (just like you soak beans before cooking them). I do it overnight, then air dry on sheets of paper towel. Keep them in a clean glass jar in the fridge. Try to eat them within a few days as they can go mouldy.
2. Unpopped popcorn kernels… you know what I’m going to say. Your best bet is to not eat popcorn. But if you love it, as I do, then carefully examine each handful and DO NOT put any unpopped kernels in your mouth. Can’ resist that salty buttery flavour? Save the kernels til the end, then carefully suck the flavour and spit them out.
3. Lemon water is good for you – drink it warm with meals. Remember to always rinse your mouth well with clean water afterward. The acid from the lemon could ruin your tooth enamel.
4. Do NOT brush your teeth right after eating fruit or other acidic foods. Wait 20-30 minutes (but rinse your mouth, per point #3). My dental hygienist gave me that advice.
5. Always use a soft tooth brush and not too much toothpaste. How long should you brush? For 2 choruses of the Happy Birthday to You song.
6. Brush twice a day – it’s enough. Chew sugarless gum after a meal. A moist mouth helps to cleanse your teeth.
7. Floss 2 or 3 times a week. Let’s be honest – only dentist’s family members do it every day. Or people with lots of time on their hands. Get one of those plastic holders – one will last you for at least a couple of weeks if you’re careful. It’s better than trying to fit your fingers in your mouth with the dental floss rolls.
If you have dental insurance coverage, that’s great. But it’s still a good idea to do what you can to keep your teeth healthy and whole.