When we were small, we must have experienced loose teeth that eventually fall out on their own. So what if a similar situation happened to you as an adult? Most likely, the hygiene and health of your teeth is being threatened. Remember, your teeth are made up of several layers of cells that are protected by a very hard layer called enamel. In fact, tooth enamel is formed from minerals that can be easily eroded by bacteria when you eat acidic foods and drinks. As a result, the risk of cavities or other dental problems you must be ready to face afterwards. To prevent the risk of tooth decay and other dental problems like gingivitis or periodontitis, try changing your diet and taking better care of your teeth and gums!
Maintaining Dental Hygiene
See a doctor for regular dental cleanings. If you don’t have a serious dental problem like gingivitis, it’s enough to see your dentist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned and checked. Generally, your doctor will clean between your teeth and other areas that are difficult to clean if you only use a toothbrush or dental floss.
Tartar that accumulates under the gums can increase the number of bad bacteria in the mouth and trigger inflammation of the gums, gum recession (gums down), and tooth bone loss.
If you have gingivitis or periodontitis, increase the frequency of your dental cleanings.
Brush your teeth properly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and place it at an angle of 45°C on the tooth surface. After that, gently rub the surface of the teeth that are facing outward facing in, as well as the surface of the teeth used for chewing for at least 10 times. Then, hold the toothbrush in an upright position and scrub between the front teeth in a vertical motion; Rub your tongue afterward. Then, throw away any remaining toothpaste and don’t rinse the foam that remains in your mouth.
Use a toothpaste that can remove tartar or scale on your teeth, at least twice a day.
Why don’t you need to rinse off the foam that forms after brushing your teeth? In fact, doing so will give your teeth a chance to absorb the minerals in the toothpaste, especially if your toothpaste contains more than 1,200 ppm fluoride.
Clean between the teeth with floss daily. Prepare at least 45 cm long dental floss, and tie each end on your right and left fingers. After that, spread the thread, pinch both ends with your thumb and forefinger until the texture is taut, and move it slowly between the teeth with vertical and horizontal movements; make sure the thread doesn’t break! Loosen a little floss to clean the gaps of the other teeth.
If you want, you can also use a waterpik (a tooth cleaning device that can spray water to remove plaque and food debris between your teeth). Choose this method if you have difficulty or don’t like flossing, wearing braces, and wearing a dental bridge (a type of denture). Fill the waterpik with 1 part water and 1 part mouthwash to maximize its protective benefits.
Gargle with an antibiotic or antiseptic solution. Chances are, your dentist will prescribe a mouthwash containing an antibiotic or antiseptic agent if you have gum problems. In addition to prescribing mouthwash, you may also need to take oral antibiotics such as low-dose doxycycline to control the production of bacteria that can damage the gums, generally for up to three months.
Alternatively, your doctor will ask you to insert an antiseptic chip or gel bag filled with medication in the gap between your tooth and gums to control the growth of bacteria in the area. If you have trouble doing it yourself, try asking the people closest to you or even your dentist for help.
Massage the gums with various herbs. Herbs and oils that contain natural anti-inflammatory properties are able to kill bad bacteria in the mouth and thereby reduce inflammation of the gums. Try massaging your gums with one of the herbs below to improve your teeth and gum health:
Turmeric: contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibiotic properties.
Aloe vera: contains anti-inflammatory properties which are very good for people with gingivitis or periodontitis.
Mustard oil: contains antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Peppermint oil: contains antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, and can freshen breath.
Oregano oil: contains antibiotic properties and is capable of boosting immunity.
Amla ( Goosebery from India): contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and is very rich in vitamin C.
Sea salt: prevents the growth of bacteria and is able to tighten the gums around the teeth.
Changing Your Diet to Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay
Limit consumption of sugar and refined flour. Sugar can trigger the proliferation of bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, reduce the level of sugar that enters the body to prevent it! In other words, try to avoid packaged and processed foods and sugary drinks. Always read the label on the packaging and avoid products that list sugar, high-fructose sugar syrup, sugarcane syrup, or other sweeteners as the main ingredients. Also reduce or avoid the following foods and drinks, which risk worsening dental health if consumed in excess:
Packaged snacks, biscuits or chips.
Bread or cake.
Fizzy drinks, fruit flavored drinks, sweet teas.
Replace sugar with natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia. Whenever you want to eat sweet foods, use natural sweeteners such as stevia or honey which are rich in antibacterial properties. Stevia itself is an herb that contains no calories but is 200 times sweeter than sugar!
Avoid artificial sweeteners such as aspartame which can change the balance of bacteria in the stomach and risk causing intolerance to glucose (prediabetes).
Pay attention to the levels of citrus fruits that enter your body. To reduce acid levels in the body, don’t eat too many citrus fruits like oranges or lemons, and make sure you always rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after eating these fruits.
In fact, the content of fructose (a type of natural sugar found in fruit) in fresh fruit such as apples, pears, or peaches is not too high. In addition, fructose also will not increase the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, don’t be afraid to eat fresh fruit, OK!
Chew food slowly and drink plenty of water. To increase the production of saliva in your mouth, make sure you don’t chew your food in a hurry. Remember, saliva contains natural minerals that can protect teeth from decay. In order to increase the amount of saliva, make sure you always chew food slowly. In addition, also drink 6-8 glasses of water every day. Indeed, you do not have to consume mineral water because the mineral content can also be obtained from the food you consume. In other words, you can also consume well water or even tap water, because they also contain mineral substances whose types and contents vary from region to region.
In fact, tap water in most areas of the United States contains fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay. Unfortunately, there is no research that states that tap water in Indonesia has the same content. Since Indonesians consume bottled water more often, understand that it is very likely that bottled water that is labeled de-ionized (not ionized), purified (purified), demineralized (does not contain minerals), or distilled (through a distillation or distillation process) does not. again contains the natural fluoride your teeth need.
Drinking water is the easiest way to hydrate your body without consuming substances that risk damaging your teeth.
When eating acidic foods, try to slow down the tempo of chewing to increase saliva production.
Take mineral supplements. Choose a multivitamin that contains minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. In particular, magnesium plays an important role in preventing calcium deficiency which can weaken the strength of bones and teeth. Every day, try to consume 1,000 mg of calcium, as well as 300-400 mg of magnesium if you do not consume milk and dairy products (such as cheese and yogurt) to reduce the amount of tartar on your teeth. If you are a man over the age of 71 or a woman over the age of 51, try to consume 1,200 mg of calcium daily.
For children, give vitamins with different magnesium content. In fact, children from birth to age 3 need 40-80 mg of magnesium daily. Meanwhile, children aged 3-6 years need 120 mg daily, and children aged 6-10 years need 170 mg magnesium daily.
Add the intake of vitamin D into the body. In fact, vitamin D combined with calcium is the perfect combination to strengthen your bones and teeth. In addition, vitamin D is also able to help kill bacteria that trigger tooth decay. Every day, try to supply the body with 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D. People over the age of 70 even need about 800 IU of vitamin D every day! One way you can do to increase the amount of vitamin D in the body is to sunbathe without wearing sunscreen for 10-15 minutes in the afternoon, at least once every three days. If possible, wear clothes that don’t cover your arms, legs, and back. In addition to sunbathing, also consume foods rich in vitamin D such as:
Salmon, snapper, white meat fish, mackerel.
Soy milk fortified with vitamin D.