As the UK starts to come out of lockdown, and some measures to stop the spread of coronavirus are eased, it is time to turn our attention back to those things we might have forgotten about, such as our oral health. Whilst the pandemic certainly brought health and hygiene issues to the forefront, it also resulted in an increase in unhealthy snacking, due to most people being at home all day.
Research from the Oral Health Foundation suggests that more than a third of adults have increased the amount of snacking they do during lockdown, with more than 60% of under-35s admitting to eating more in between meals.
Whenever we eat anything, plaque bacteria builds up in the mouth, attacking the teeth and causing decay or erosion. Whilst saliva usually neutralises the acid, if we are snacking constantly, the teeth are under continued attack, with no time to recover.
If you have found yourself reaching for the biscuit barrel more frequently, or have noticed your family snacking more in between meals, here are some top tips to help you get your oral health back on track.
Oral health tips from our dentists
There are a few simple steps you can take to help your mouth stay healthy:
- Increase saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum in between meals. Chewing sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after eating, increases saliva flow. Having something to chew might also prevent you from reaching for the unhealthy snacks.
- Introduce some tooth friendly snacks to your diet. Swap chocolates for cheese after your meal and your mouth will thank you. Cheese is an alkali and will help to neutralise the acid caused by eating and drinking.
- Brush your teeth twice a day - last thing at night and one other time during the day.
- Use dental floss or an interdental brush to remove the debris from in between your teeth.
- Rinse with mouthwash after brushing your teeth, as this helps to stop plaque build up and prevents gum disease.
How we can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy
Riverside Dental Spa is open again following the coronavirus lockdown and welcoming patients initially for urgent appointment and emergency dental care. Our team are happy to answer any oral health questions you might have so please feel free to contact us on 020 7091 0677, click here to leave us a message or connect with us on social media.
Our blog also features lots of useful information on looking after your mouth and tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy.