Starting Your Day With A Good Oral Health Routine
Brushing our teeth at bedtime is important, but so is how we start our day!
Morning-time can feel very different for different people. Some of us rise and get up early, really looking forward to the day ahead, whilst others may crawl very slowly from under the duvet and come round much more slowly than others.
Whichever type of person you are (or even someone in between), how we start the day can have an impact upon our teeth and gums.
With this in mind, our Confidental Clinic dental team have offered a few suggestions below that we think will help you to get off to a good start to the day from an oral health perspective.
As we sleep, we lose fluids from our body and it makes sense that this needs to be replenished. As we have mentioned before, if our mouths are dry overnight, this increases the risk of gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Ideally, we will have been well hydrated before we go to bed but even so, drinking liquid in the morning is important. For many people, tea or coffee is the norm. We also recommend drinking some water as well as this is the most efficient way of rehydrating your body.
One word of caution about drinking in the morning. There are quite a few people who have started to add lemon juice to their water, partly to give it some flavour but also to add some vitamin C and ‘zing’ to the drink. Lemon juice is very acidic though and doing this on a daily basis could cause harm to your teeth through enamel erosion. So if you do add this, please do so in moderation.
Brushing your teeth
Hopefully, none of our Streatham patients will leave for work without brushing their teeth. There is always a risk though that this may be rushed due to time constrictions. It is just as important to brush your teeth well in the morning as it is the last thing at night. Please do make sure that you allow sufficient time to do this well and not just give them a quick brush for fresher breath.
There are some people who think that there is less need for brushing in the morning as you haven’t eaten anything since you last brushed them. Whilst that may be the case, it ignores the fact that bacteria will have attached themselves to your teeth and the gum line, potentially more so if you were dehydrated. For this reason, you should always brush your teeth well in the morning. Failing to do so will mean that even more bacteria will collect throughout the day.
It has often been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Despite this, many of us grab something quick and convenient either before we leave the house, or increasingly, on our way to work. This often takes the form of a muffin and possibly a coffee on the go. This may feel like a nice way to start the day and leave you a few more minutes in bed in the morning, but it is also consuming a lot of sugar before the day has barely started.
It is better for your oral health, and probably your general health too, if you allow yourself more time to have a tooth friendly breakfast before you leave for work.
Even at home, many of us, and especially though not exclusively, children, will eat spreads that are high in sugar rather than eat a healthy breakfast. These are best avoided as far as possible and the following are some recommendations for foods that are suitable for a more tooth-friendly breakfast.
Sugar free cereals – Avoid the ultra sweet cereals and opt for sugar free ones. They are available although you may need to look a little harder to find them amongst the high sugar ones.
Fruit – Healthy but do watch the acidity levels. More alkaline fruits will have a less erosive effect on the teeth although they do still contain some sugars.
Toast – A staple of an English breakfast. This is a healthy option providing that you don’t add jam or marmalade to it unless they are sugar free. If you like Marmite, this is a good option too.
Dairy products – Along with eggs, milk products such as yoghurts (sugar free of course) and cheese are excellent choices. They are both no sugar options and also offer minerals that are important for healthy teeth. In addition, they will help to balance the PH levels in our mouths. Especially if you have eaten fruit, a small piece of cheese at the end of your breakfast is a great way to reduce the acidity in your mouth.
These are only suggestions of course and nutritonal balance is the key.
Naturally, looking after your teeth is important during the rest of the day as well, but making a good start in the morning will hopefully set you on the right path. For any advice about looking after your teeth and gums, or to make an appointment to see one of our Streatham dental team, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8674 2052.