Best Way to Care for Your Teeth After Eating or Drinking

Our Tampa dentists receive a lot of questions about preventing dental problems. While one of the best things you can do to prevent dental problems is to see your dentist at least twice a year, there’s a lot you can do on a daily basis to protect oral health, including these suggestions for the best way to care for your teeth after eating and drinking.

Make Good Choices

One of the best things you can do to preserve oral health is to make good choices. Reducing processed sugar is helpful, because sugar leads to cavities. Swap out sugary beverages like sodas for unsweetened iced teas or water. Drinking more water is a wise health move for the whole body, but it helps your teeth by rinsing the mouth. Water actually flushes away bad bacteria, so it’s the best choice.

You may have heard that you’ll protect your teeth from sugars when drinking sodas or juices through a straw, and that a straw can reduce tooth discoloration from black tea or coffee. Let our Tampa dentist clear this up for you: drinking from a straw will not protect your teeth from staining or reduce sugar. Your teeth touch a straw while you drink.

Even if you manage to hold the straw without it touching your teeth, the sugary drink gets all over your tongue and your tongue is in constant contact with your teeth.

So, skip the straw the next time you’re indulging in a sugary drink as an occasional treat.

After Eating

After you eat something acidic, there’s a temptation to brush your teeth immediately so you remove the acid from your mouth. That can actually damage your enamel, which is more vulnerable after acid exposure. Instead of brushing right away, we recommend that you wait thirty minutes and have a glass of water in the meantime.

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing are the two best things you can do on a daily basis for your teeth. Brush twice a day and floss once–unless you’ve got corn in your teeth. This may sound obvious, but do not go to bed without brushing your teeth. Brushing at the end of the day removes all the bacteria from your teeth, so germs and bacteria don’t multiply in your mouth overnight.

We recommend you use a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Fluoride protects your enamel and combats bad germs, which could cause tooth decay.

As you brush, work in gentle circular motions, which scrape plaque off the teeth without harming the gums. Brush your tongue, too.

Has it been a while since your last dental checkup? See our dentist in Tampa twice a year to have your teeth cleaned. Our dentist will check for cavities, clean plaque and tartar off your teeth, and make sure you have a healthy mouth. Our Tampa dentist can also provide cosmetic treatments, from tooth whitening to dental repair. Reserve your next appointment online or call us today: 813-501-6864.