In the pursuit of looking good, we (try to) maintain rigorous skincare and workout routines and watch what we eat, among a whole host of things. But how many of us are as conscientious with our oral hygiene? It seems we should be. Because according to 84 per cent of people recently surveyed by Philips Singapore, the whiter our teeth, the more attractive we appear.
Not that oral hygiene is just about white teeth—it’s also properly caring for our teeth by knowing when and how to brush them. Did you know that we should wait at least 30 minutes after having a meal before brushing our teeth? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Sixty-four per cent of the people surveyed didn’t know that either.
“Research has shown that brushing your teeth too soon after food and drink, especially those that are acidic, can do more harm than good for your teeth. In one study, scientists found an increase in dentin loss when participants brushed within 20 minutes of drinking soda,” says Dr Lim Lii, the president of the Singapore Dental Association.
She explains that the acidic elements in food and drinks can attack the teeth and cause the enamel and the layer below it (dentin) to demineralise, so brushing too soon after consumption of such food and drinks can damage the enamel in its already weakened state.
Also, brushing your teeth harder doesn’t mean you remove more plaque. In fact, doing just that can result in gum sensitivity.
“If too much force is used, the surface of the gums surrounding the teeth can be injured and there may be an erosion of the enamel, dentin and root of the teeth.”
Already follow these recommended oral hygiene habits? Dr Lim shares some tips on having whiter teeth.
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