With the Valentine’s Day coming up it is important that we remember why we must brush our teeth!

A lot of people don’t know that the mouth can contain 100-200 different species of bacteria.  Those who maintain a good brushing technique can have anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 bacteria and that is just on a single tooth, multiple that by at least 28 teeth, that is a lot of bugs!

Don’t worry this isn’t unusual, most of these bacteria occur in the mouth naturally, some are even good for you. It is the bad bacteria that we worry about as even though our saliva does have some compounds which inhibits the growth of these organisms but this isn’t enough otherwise, we would never get decay or gum disease and this is why we brush our teeth.

Teeth are highly mineralised and when we eat food these bacteria eat as well, and then deposit acid onto our teeth removing minerals from our teeth that can later form holes.

Some foods can speed up the demineralisation process, these foods include sugars, soft drink, energy drink and citrus fruits foods that stick well to teeth are also a risk like bread, banana, jelly lollies and biscuits. These foods sit on our teeth longer as we can’t get them off our teeth by drinking water or by rubbing our tongue over them.

To stop the demineralisation process from happening we have to brush and floss. These bacteria need to be removed manually with bushing which minimises the risk of decay. When we brush our teeth, it disconnects the bond that the bacteria have to the teeth. This allows the minerals in our saliva to remineralize where those bacteria have sat.  Flossing is vital as a tooth brush cannot reach underneath your gums, thousands of bacteria stay under your gums and between your teeth after you have brushed.

Now if you are thinking I should brush straight after eating the answer is no. Because of these acids that the bacteria produce the teeth are soft for a while until the saliva can put the minerals back in to them, dentists recommend waiting 30 minutes after eating before brushing teeth again.  To encourage tooth remineralisation drink water after meals.

Good Oral Health Tips:

* Brush twice a day, spit and don’t rinse.

* Clean between your teeth.

* Visit your dentist every 6-12 months.

* Limit your snacks. Ideally 3 x main meals per day & a snack in between.

* Drink lots of water.