Image of Water In A Glass For Rinsing After Meals

Water, Excellent To Rinse With After Meals

Rinse Your Teeth To Starve The Bacteria Bent On Destroying Them

A huge part of getting food out of your mouth after a meal is just basic rinsing. It gives you an idea of just how much food tends to get stuck lying on the sides of teeth and in the folds of your cheeks. This will help to avoid those embarrassing smiles where a big piece of green stuff is stuck to one of your front teeth. Looks real good when this happens. It’s just the way to impress friends, coworkers and prospective dates.

Invariably, no one tells you that you have something stuck on a front tooth until about four o’clock and you finished lunch at one o’clock. Nice! I remember a teacher in high school that always left part of his lunch on display on his teeth, and occasionally on his tie. So, with that mental picture, remember to rinse and brush to keep your smile bright and clean.

Some of my patients are very active as a part of their normal workday. One is a physical fitness trainer for the military. He works with regular Army on basic fitness. It is a little frustrating for me as he is snacking on carbohydrate containing foods for energy and has little time to rinse and clean with constant nibbling. This has resulted in lots of cavities over the years.  Just recently, it finally clicked that the Army issue trail-mix including raisins and other dried fruit was a likely cause of his ongoing cavity problems. Now he can do something about it.

Carbohydrates Taste Great But Are Not Going To Spare Your Teeth.

Carbohydrates are a great food source for the bacteria causing cavities or tooth decay and they get very sticky with the drying effects of heavy breathing during strenuous exercise. Then, effective brushing becomes very difficult. Goal, avoid carbs.

I remember a science fair competition where a young girl won an award comparing the effectiveness of homemade wallpaper paste with a commercial brand. She ground up some of the most popular dry breakfast cereals, mixed each of them with milk and used them separately to adhere wallpaper samples to painted drywall. They worked great! Breakfast cereals, great for wallpaper, but not for teeth.

Hydration Is Essential To Keep Your Body Functioning Well – Think Teeth When You Hydrate

Dehydration due to variations in water consumption and climatic conditions can also dry your mouth excessively. Living in higher altitude regions of the country also amps up your water requirements. Keep that in mind when visiting.

Another consideration is regular smoking and alcohol consumption.  Dry mouth from these is very noticeable, and provides perfect conditions for bacteria to multiply.

Stay Focused On What You Are Trying To Accomplish With Your Home Dental Care.

A long-term patient recently returned to my office after an absence of a little over two years. Steven at 76 years old had already experienced significant tooth loss but was in a holding pattern for several years prior.

He was seen during an examination after complaining about severe pain. Steven had forgotten about one of the most important rules to follow. Rinse well after every meal. He had food caked on the sides and in between his teeth so that it was difficult to see them. Food was even clinging to the inside of his cheeks along his upper back teeth. He had lost focus on what is necessary to stay dentally healthy.

The abundant supply of food available for bacteria to feast upon leads to vast quantities of acid being produced as a waste. That process is tooth decay and it destroyed many of his remaining back teeth leading to severe pain and necessary surgery to remove multiple teeth.

Medication and Disease Side Effects Are Often Not Mentioned By Your Doctor

Medications and some diseases often have significant saliva drying side effects. Medications include those used to treat Parkinsonism, asthma, urinary incontinence, psychotic disorders, nausea, diarrhea, high blood pressure, epilepsy, acne, obesity, pain, allergies, anxiety and depression.

Diseases with dry mouth symptoms include stroke, Parkinsonism, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, anemia, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and Sjogrens’s syndrome.

Simply using water to rinse and swallow will wash large quantities of bacteria out of your mouth and keep you hydrated as well. Sodas, even the diet varieties, will not accomplish the same positive result as water.

I also suggest you use warm, sugar free beverages to soften bread and cracker residue before rinsing or brushing to improve your teeth cleaning efforts. So planning out the order of your food consumption can minimize the negative impact on your breath, teeth and overall health.

Again, the take home lesson is, if no food exists for harmful bacteria to feed upon they cannot destroy healthy teeth and gums. Rinse well, with water, after every meal, and use a toothbrush too, if at all possible.