Top tips, tools and tricks for strong and healthy teeth
Almost four billion people worldwide are affected by oral disease.
We all know it is important to develop good oral health habits from a young age, but not everyone will keep it up.
Your eating habits, brushing technique and food choices will all affect the state of your smile.
Here, find out how you can maintain or improve your teeth and gum health.
Foods to eat
The often-used phrase "you are what you eat" applies to teeth too.
Eating a healthy balanced diet will give your body the essential nutrients to strengthen your teeth enamel.
Drinking green tea fortifies the enamel and prevents plaque build-up as it contains fluoride.
Fruits that contain vitamin C reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of gum diseases.
Dairy products contain calcium that rebuild your teeth enamel. Pair them with vitamin D-rich foods to help your body absorb calcium better.
Eating fibre-rich vegetables like carrots and celery will give your teeth a good "scrub", similar to how your toothbrush does it.
What to avoid
Highly acidic drinks like soft drinks, citrus juices, vinegar and even white wine can damage your enamel when you drink too much.
Starchy foods like cereal, bread and biscuits cause sugars and acid to form in your mouth, while hard foods like ice might also chip and crack your teeth.
Avoid constant snacking
Stick to regular meal times and avoid constant snacking as your saliva takes time to neutralise the acids in your mouth.
Consuming acid-neutralising foods after a sweet meal, such as milk, can help to prevent cavities.
Water is important to keep you hydrated and your body functioning properly, and it is equally important for good oral health as it helps to wash away food that is stuck on your teeth.
Brush your teeth well
You should brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
It is recommended you wait 30 minutes after eating before you brush your teeth.
Choose a toothbrush that is the right size for your mouth, and do not brush too hard as that can damage your teeth too.
Do not forget to brush your tongue.
This article was first published in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)