Caring for your dental health is self care.

The coronavirus pandemic changed a lot of people’s lives in 2020 — including their work. In fact, according to Stanford News, 42% of America’s workforce was permanently working from home last year, and that number is only going to keep increasing in 2021.

With so much extra time on their hands, people have been investing more in their self-care, family time, and even their overall health and well-being. You might even be one of those people—but have you considered your dental health?

Now that you’re not in your car for an hour or two every day, what’s an extra five minutes spent on your dental hygiene? Read on to learn more about caring for your teeth from home.

Food Plays a Factor in Dental Health

Did you know that food plays a factor in your dental health? Just like too much junk food can start to show itself through weight gain, it can also affect your dental health. Not all foods are bad for your teeth though. Some foods can help whiten and strengthen them and are great additions to your daily diet.

Foods to Eat for Dental Health

Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and foods with fluoride are great additions to your diet. Sugar-free chewing gum has also proven to be good for your teeth! Specific foods you can eat more of include:

  • Blue crab and shrimp (full of fluoride).
  • Raisins (full of fluoride).
  • Beans (fiber-rich).
  • Broccoli (fiber-rich).
  • Avocadoes (fiber-rich).
  • Whole grains (fiber-rich).
  • Apples (fiber-rich).

Foods to Eat Less Of for Dental Health

Starchy, sticky foods (like soft bread and potato chips) tend to stick around in your mouth and even get trapped in your teeth.

Carbonated soft drinks are sugary and acidic, which can wear away at your enamel. If you enjoy bubbly beverages, however, carbonated water is generally fine.

Substances that dry out your mouth, like alcohol or some medicines, are also smart to avoid, though prescription medications are sometimes necessary. If your medicine is a bother, you can speak with your dentist about getting a fluoride rinse or gel.

Eating for Dental Health

The American Dental Association has recommendations for other ways you can care for your dental health through food.

If you’re going to eat sugary foods, eat them with meals. Since your mouth produces more saliva during mealtime, it can help reduce the effect of acid production and also work to rinse food from your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after mealtime can also help prevent tooth decay.

Simply drink more water—fluoridated water is a great choice. Replacing black coffee and red wine with green and black tea may also help.

What can affect the color of your teeth?

While genetics can play a factor in your individual tooth color, the most important factor is dentin.

Dentin is the hard, inner part of your tooth. It lives beneath the enamel and is primarily responsible for its color.

Your teeth are going to be the brightest when you’re young and they grow darker with age. Yellow teeth, however, are usually the result of what you eat or drink. Whether it’s the result of daily coffee, red wine, or simple plaque build-up, it’s an easy thing to reverse. To reverse yellow teeth, many people turn to whitening remedies.

What can you do at home to whiten your teeth?

First, it’s important to note that many trendy, at-home whitening solutions have not been proven to whiten your teeth, and some (such as acidic lemon or apple cider vinegar solutions) can actually damage the enamel of your teeth and affect your dental health. It sounds simple, but a great oral hygiene routine, using an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste, and avoiding food and drinks that stain are the safest ways to work on whitening your teeth. If you feel you need a little more help than that, there are other options.

Home Bleaching Kits vs. Professional Whitening

If you’ve never used a home bleaching kit, the term might sound daunting, but it’s nothing to be afraid of! There is a difference between at-home kits and professional teeth whitening, however, and you should consult your dentist before using anything on your teeth.

The Difference

The primary difference between at-home bleaching and professional whitening is the overall reliability. When you’re doing it yourself, it’s easy to forget a treatment, or simply do it wrong. If you’re doing it professionally, the person is trained and knows exactly what they’re doing the entire time. If you have to have more than one treatment, then you’re going to schedule an appointment ahead of time that you’re less likely to miss. Also, if you have sensitive teeth, over-the-counter treatments can often aggravate this. If you visit a professional, they can take the necessary precautions to keep any discomfort at bay.

Overall, at-home whitening treatments are great if you’re in need of a quick fix. If you’re looking for something more long-lasting, however, professional whitening can make a big difference.

Prioritize Your Dental Health Today

Among all the work-from-home tips you’ve been researching and the self-care you’ve been wanting to delve deeper into, learning to care for your teeth and overall dental health from home can be an invaluable thing to add to the list. There are lifelong lessons to be found in that research, and it’s an overall healthy thing to add to your daily routine.

Duvall Dental can help you with all of your dental health needs. Contact us today to book an appointment or virtual consult.