How to treat your teeth like a dentist: Don’t rinse and eat chocolate

A delighted patient hears it is OK to eat chocolate from mydentist
A delighted patient hears it is OK to eat chocolate from mydentist
Have your say

A Chorley dentist has revealed some surprising top tips to brush up on dental health

Mydentist practice manager Kathryn Pickup says: “From eating chocolate rather than dried fruit to leaving toothpaste on your teeth instead of rinsing there are lots of little changes people can make to their dental routine that will help keep teeth healthy.”

Here, Kathryn , reveals how to care for your teeth as a dentist would - and avoid common pitfalls...

Don’t rinse!

Stop, after brushing try and avoid rinsing your toothpaste out, because the fluoride in toothpaste will continue to protect the teeth for at least 30 minutes afterwards.

Eat chocolate

Well, sort of. For years many of us have opted for dried fruit over chocolate because it seems healthier. In fact the sugar from dried fruit sits on the teeth, which over time can rot away enamel.

Chocolate is actually slightly better because it contains fat and doesn’t stick to teeth the same way. Other tooth-friendly safer snacks include breadsticks, toast, cheese, nuts and seeds.

Tea’s up!

Our favourite caffeinated hot drink is not the tooth devil it might appear. In fact 70% of our dietary intake of fluoride comes in a cuppa, the flavonoids in tea protect against decay and gum disease and tea polyphenols can counter bad breath.

Visit your dentist regularly

A no-brainer but in fact many of us only visit our dentist - over a quarter of us - when we have a problem. Sometimes by then it may be too late. Having regular check-ups can help prevent the need for more painful - and distressing treatment later on.

Interdental brushes are tops

Nothing can clean in-between the teeth like an interdental brush. Just once a day can prevent including pain, infection, and tooth loss it can even help prevent heart disease. The small brush cleans between the teeth and is much more effective at cleaning between your teeth than just brushing.

The whole fruit and nothing but…

Eating a whole fruit is far better than drinking fruit juice because, although fruit does have sugar, it also has fibre and, crucially, water to wash the sugars away from the teeth. But stick to one or two pieces a day and opt for lower-sugar fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwis, peaches and pears rather than high-sugar ones like grapes and pineapple.

Don’t brush your teeth after eating

That’s because the acid in food “demineralises” the tooth for an hour after eating and softens the enamel.

Avoid snacking

Whatever you snack on the fact is constant grazing is spectacularly bad for teeth. It’s not about the sugar we eat but how often our teeth come under attack. If you must snack - limit it to twice a day.

Brush for two minutes twice a day

Brush for at least two minutes twice a day and reach every part of your mouth to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Want to go whiter

Do your homework. Having your teeth professionally cleaned and whitened is an investment, but you have to make sure you keep up the good work.

There is no point having your teeth whitened but then not cleaning them properly or eating large amounts of food and drink that will stain your teeth. And stop smoking as this is the worst thing for staining and discolouring teeth.