1. DON'T brush after coffee
Cleaning your teeth after a coffee sounds smart, but research shows it grinds damaging acid into your teeth, causing erosion to the dentin layer under enamel. Instead, drink water after acidic carbonated drinks, juices, coffee or alcohol, and wait 30 minutes for saliva to neutralise the acid before brushing.
2. DO brush in circles
Side-to-side brushing can do more damage than good. Tooth enamel consists of tightly packed columns that face towards the tooth surface, and brushing side-to-side – especially hard – can actually break these rods and weaken the enamel.
3. DON'T mix hot and cold
Biting into a hot meal and then cooling your mouth with a cold drink can expand and contract enamel too fast – much like glass or china – and cause hairline cracks, which will invite erosion.
4. DO choose the cheese
Studies show cheese is a dental miracle worker – lowering the pH balance of your mouth, protecting enamel from erosion and encouraging teeth to remineralise. So opt for the cheese plate at the end of a meal, or if drinking acidic wine.
5. DON'T skip brushing
More than a third of Aussies admit they brush only once a day, which isn’t just bad news for your breath. During the day, biofilm forms on teeth surfaces and, if not removed, can harden and turn to plaque in 24 hours. It’s most vital to brush before bed because saliva dries up at night, leaving teeth more vulnerable to decay.
6. DO rinse
Regardless of how effectively you brush and floss, if you don’t rinse well afterwards, all you’ve done is let that bacteria loose in your mouth!