Monday, June 8, 2009

New insight for brushing teeth at midlife.

Here's some new information about brushing, flossing, and chewing gum for healthier teeth and gums after the age of 40 when your saliva production diminishes.

Edmund Hewlett, DDS, UCLA School of Dentistry, says, “Brushing when you get up and before you go to bed is just fine.” Don't brush immediately after eating acidic food or beverages (wine, orange juice, soft drinks).

Dr. Hewlett said, “The acidity slightly softens tooth enamel.” Brushing right after eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages may contribute to tooth sensitivity and cavities.

You don't have to brush after every meal, but you still have to remove debris between your teeth after meals. Use a toothpick, a glass of water, mouthwash, or a piece of gum that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that inhibits the growth of cavity-causing tooth bacteria. Chewing gum with xylitol can increase your saliva and decrease the acidity levels in your mouth.

You still need to floss.

Keep smiling.

Saundra Goodman
Got Teeth? A Survivor's Guide
How to keep your teeth or live without them.