4 Good Oral Habits That Keep Your Teeth Healthy Between Meals

Oral hygiene doesn't have to stop when you finish brushing your teeth in the morning. Keeping your teeth healthy and strong between meals can prolong the life of your teeth.

To keep your teeth strong and healthy, get used to doing the following habits between meals each day.

1. Brushing at least 30 minutes after eating

Brushing your teeth between meals can remove the food source of bad oral bacteria. Depriving oral bacteria of food will protect your teeth from the acids they secrete after metabolizing food.

But make sure you wait at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth after a meal. If you brush your teeth too soon after eating, you could spread the remnants of your last meal throughout your mouth, which could contribute to tooth decay.

2. Chewing Xylitol chewing gum

Chewing gum between meals helps to produce more of your mouth's natural cleaning solution — saliva. The action of chewing stimulates saliva production. The saliva you produce while chewing then helps to rinse the food out of your mouth.

And if you want to lower the number of tooth decay-causing bacteria like streptococcus mutans, then chew gum that has Xylitol in it. Xylitol reduces bad oral bacteria, which protects your teeth against tooth decay.   

3. Drinking water

Keep water with you wherever you go, and drink some from time to time to keep yourself hydrated.  A well-hydrated body produces a healthy supply of saliva. Saliva is antibacterial and it contains all of the minerals your teeth need to stay strong and healthy, such as phosphorous and calcium. Drinking plenty of water will also wash away the food remnants from your teeth.  

4. Chewing certain vegetables

Chewing on crisp and crunchy fruits and veggies like apples broccoli and carrots between meals also serves as another healthy method of cleaning your teeth between meals. The crisp nature of these foods means that they rub against your teeth as you chew them, which helps to remove dental plaque from your teeth.

If you travel to work, chop up some apples, broccoli and carrots, and take them to work with you. That way, you can choose a healthy, tooth-friendly snack to eat instead of junk food like chips or chocolate.

These habits can help your teeth stay healthy, and they are easy to do. No matter how busy you are, these habits will only take a few minutes of your time between meals. A dentist can recommend more treatments based on your unique situation.