Your Tooth Friendly Morning Routine!
A good start to the day can really help to keep our teeth and gums in good health.
What sort of a ‘morning person’ are you? Do you leap out of bed in plenty of time for the day ahead, or sink back under the duvet until the last possible moment once the alarm has gone off?
We all differ in our morning routines but there are still a number of things that we can do to make sure we get our teeth and gums off to a healthy start each day.
Especially if we tend to be warm at night, our bodies can lose moisture. In fact, some studies suggest that around 80% of the weight that we lose overnight is actually water. This can lead to dehydration, which, as we know, can contribute significantly to a heightened risk of gum disease.
Whilst most of our Ashby and Burton patients probably do drink in the morning, it probably tends to be tea or coffee, or perhaps a fruit juice. Some people argue that tea and coffee are diuretics, whilst others now dispute this claim. Fruit juice is probably better for hydration purposes, but can be acidic, causing possible damage to the enamel on your teeth when drunk in excess.
Most of us probably won’t forgo our ‘morning cuppa’, whether it is tea or coffee, but drinking a glass of water as well will help to get your body hydrated before the day starts.
Cleaning your teeth
We hope that every patient of Alexandra Dental Care will clean their teeth in the morning as well as at nighttime. We have heard it said by some that the morning brushing is less important as the teeth were cleaned the night before and nothing has been eaten since. Whilst this is true in part, night time is when bacteria can collect on the teeth and gum line, especially when dehydrated (see above). To this end, your morning clean is just as important as your night time one.
Another question we sometimes get asked by our Ashby and Burton patients is whether they should brush their teeth before or after breakfast. Opinions on this vary but, in our opinion, it probably depends on what and when you eat.
For those who enjoy a leisurely breakfast and don’t have to rush out straight away, it is probably better to brush your teeth after you have eaten. The reason for this is that your teeth are then clean until you eat again, which should ideally be at lunch time. If you brush first and then eat, food will be stuck on and between your teeth for additional time during the day.
There is a caveat to this though. If you are the type of morning person who gets up late and grabs a slice of toast and marmalade and perhaps a fruit juice before cleaning your teeth and heading out the door, this is not ideal. After eating, the enamel on your teeth softens a little and daily brushing in this way may lead to erosion. If you can leave half an hour after eating before you clean your teeth, so that they can remineralise, that is much better for your teeth.
So, what should you eat for a tooth friendly breakfast? Providing that you do clean your teeth correctly, it probably shouldn’t matter too much, but some foods are positively beneficial for your teeth and are worth considering whilst others are best avoided.
As with any meal, sugar should be limited. Especially for children, this can be difficult at the best of times. The rise of chocolate spreads and high sugar cereals means that many children (and adults) consume a lot of sugar first thing in the morning.
Sugar free, and preferably wholemeal cereals are one of the better things that you can eat. You can add fruits to this too though do bear in mind the sugar and acid factor if you do.
One of the best things that you can eat for breakfast is dairy products and especially (sugar free) yoghurt and cheese. This may not be a very common breakfast in this country, but cheese is widely eaten for breakfast across much of Europe.
Not only does cheese not contain sugar, but it helps to balance any acidity in your mouth and helps to protect the enamel. In addition to this, it is, of course, high in calcium and other important minerals that help to build strong and healthy teeth.
Breakfast is an important meal as it can also help to stop us feeling hungry mid morning when the only available food may be an unhealthy and tooth damaging snack such as biscuits or chocolate. But whatever you eat, please make sure to maintain a good oral health regimen, including brushing and flossing!
As part of good oral care discipline, you also need to be see by both the dentist and hygienist at Alexandra Dental Care. You can make an appointment with us by calling us on 01283 216347 and our friendly team is on hand to take your call!Google+