teeth

5 Foods that improve your smile

Who doesn’t want a knock’em dead smile? Well we have all heard of foods and activities which aren’t so great for your pearly whites (like coffee, smoking). But here are 5 foods that will help give a brighter, whiter smile.

  • Cranberries: Cranberries, along with lots of other fruit, contain some whacky doodads called polyphenols. These chemical compounds my help to prevent plaque forming on your teeth, leading to a nicer, whiter smile.
  • Apples: High in fiber, biting into an apple literally has a scrubbing effect on your teeth. They also contain natural acids, which help to dissolve buildup. This scrubbing helps to remove stains from the enamel of your teeth
  • Dairy products: Cheese, mils, yogurt all contain calcium and phosphorous, which help to strengthen your teeth.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries contain malic acid that removes surface discolouration. They are so good at removing discolouration, they can even be used in home tooth whitening remedy. (we wont tell you how, but go look it up)
  • Water and sugar-free gum: not only does drinking water stop you from drinking other drinks (like cola), it helps provide your mouth with enough saliva. Saliva is one of the best cleaners of the mouth, and chewing sugar-free gum helps to stimulate saliva production, ensuring your mouth doesn’t dry out. Water and saliva also help wash away an surface plaque or sugar residue.

So when you’re preparing for your next big social event, try eating some of these foods to give your teeth a chance to shine!

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– Leo

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State of decay – Australia’s teeth

You’re doing it wrong Australia! In regards to oral health at least. Thats what the latest studies show, and the numbers make for pretty grim reading. I’ll spare you the long boring essay and deliver some jaw dropping facts straight to your face:

The bad

  1. The average number of affected teeth is on the rise in children, both in permanent and baby teeth.
  2. In 2010, nearly half of children aged 12 had experienced decay in their permanent teeth.
  3. 3 in 10 adults aged 25-44 had untreated tooth decay.

The good

  1. Australians were more likely to have visited the dentist in the past 12 months than New Zealand residents (hahaha take that kiwi’s)
  2. Since 1987, the number of people with decayed, missing or filled teeth is declining.
  3. Young people have lover risk of gum disease than older people.

If you’re into graphs, numbers and facts, check out the full document from the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing here:

Are you one of the 40% of people aged 15+ who didn’t visit a dentist in the last year? Maybe you know someone? Name and shame people, Name and shame!

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– Leo

Where can you go for information?

We here at Don’t Brush It Off are very conscious of the fact that we do not know everything there is to know about dental health. Your first source of information should be your dentist,  as they are qualified to answer any and all of your questions. But we understand you like to do your own research, and understand more about your personal health and wellbeing. So we’ve compiled a list of places you can check out to get accurate and insightful information about your oral health.

The Australia Dental Association (ADA) – The organisation that represents 90% of Australia’s dentists. They represent one of the most reputable places to get information, and their information is really top notch.

Their website is here: http://www.ada.org.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthyteethaustralia

Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (AIHW) – While the information they publish here isn’t overly engaging, the government publishes useful resources to help you not only keep your mouth healthy, but your entire body.

Website: http://www.aihw.gov.au/dental-and-oral-health/

Brands – If you ignore all the shameless self promotion, oral care brands often represent great places to find information. For instance, Oral B and Colgate both have well moderated facebook pages, which direct to their respective websites. Here you can find articles and information around various dental diseases, as well as suitable products.

Colgate: https://www.facebook.com/ColgateAustralia

Oral B: https://www.facebook.com/oralbau

Media

Newspapers, and other media sites often have health and wellbeing sections, and here you can find useful resources, interviews and opinions that you might not otherwise have access to.

The best of the bunch is the Huffington Post’s Health section, which you can find here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/healthy-living/

Do you have any places where you get information from? let us know!

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– Leo

Diet and keeping your teeth healthy

We all know that soft drinks and lollies are bad for your teeth, due to their high sugar content and tendency to linger in the mouth. Your diet is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth and gums healthy, so you need to watch what you eat.

Dentists recommend you eat a balanced diet from the 5 major food groups:

  • whole grains
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • lean sources of protein (lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas)
  • low-fat and fat-free dairy foods

Not only will eating a balanced diet from these food groups keep your body healthy, but a balanced diet is the best way to avoid chemical imbalances in the body which cause tooth decay. For example, eating too much acidic foods (like cranberries or blueberries) can actually be bad for your teeth, because the acidic nature of the foods erode tooth enamel and cause decay. If you’re serious about your oral health, you should always avoid diets that cut out any of the food groups, due to the reasons above.

You should also drink plenty of water, as saliva protects oral tissues. If there is no ready source of water near you, you can alternatively chew some sugar-free gum, as this will stimulate saliva production in the mouth. Other drinks that are good for your teeth include milk and unsweetened tea.

So basically stay away from the sugary food and drinks, try to eat a balanced diet and you should be fine!

Can you think of any ridiculous diets that sound awful for your oral health? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter:

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– Ryan

How to floss

Flossing should be an important part of your oral care routine, but it can feel quite awkward flinging a piece of string between your teeth. People often complain that flossing makes them feel like they are strangling their fingers! It is important to use a technique that not only makes flossing easy, but that is comfortable on your teeth and your fingers.

Here are a few different guides that may help you to develop your own flossing technique, one which is comfortable and easy enough for you to integrate into your daily routine!

Here is a slightly different technique:

http://www.deardoctor.com/inside-the-magazine/issue-10/flossing/

Above all else, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Give yourself plenty of length! The piece of floss you use should be about 50cm long (or about 18 inches).
  • Your gums may bleed to begin with. This is normal, and should subside after a few days of regular flossing.
  • The best time to floss is at night, after you have brushed your teeth.
  • Don’t wrap the floss so tight around your fingers that you cut off the blood circulation.
  • Practice makes perfect! the more you floss, the better you will get at it.

If flossing is still an unbearable exercise for you, talk to your dentist about alternatives. They will be able to direct you to other products or solutions so that your teeth and gums remain healthy!

Do you find flossing cumbersome and annoying? What flossing products do you use? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!

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– Leo

Worst things for your teeth

There are a number of things in the scary world in which you must avoid when it comes to protecting your oral health, so we’ve summarised a few of the important ones into a list!

  • Too many sugary foods and drinks. An obvious but important one, we are all guilty one time or another of washing down a tasty chocolate bar with a coke, but you must fight the urges!
  • Brushing too early after eating or drinking acidic items. Doing so actually causes harm to your enamel and brushes away the protective layer that your mouth forms. Dentists recommend brushing 30 minutes to an hour after eating/drinking.
  • Brushing too hard. But I thought the harder I brush, the more plaque and germs I can scrape off? Wrong. Doing so actually damages your teeth and again wears down the protective layers of proteins.
  • Using too much toothpaste. Dentist recommend a small blob of toothpaste on your brush, otherwise there will be too much abrasive toothpaste in your mouth which will again cause harm to your teeth.
  • Not brushing long enough. Most people just give the quick once-over and assume that if their breath is smelling alright, they’ve brushed for long enough. You should always brush (not hard!) for at least 2 minutes, twice a day.
  • Not brushing or flossing. I know, I can’t believe they exist either. Barbarians.

Do you have any other scary things that are bad for your teeth? Let us know below or on our social platforms:

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– Ryan

Manual vs Electric Toothbrushes: Which one for you?

Since the beginning of time (or rather, a few years ago) there has been a great debate over whether or not electric toothbrushes offer additional benefits to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean, or whether they are merely a marketing gimmick aimed at snatching your hard-earned cash.

Electric Toothbrushes:

  • Built-in timer allows you to correctly brush for the right amount of time, not guessing roundabouts
  • Good if you suffer from any movement-restricted illness (arthritis, etc.)
  • Need to be charged often (impractical for travelling)
  • Are not as effective at cleaning your tongue and cheeks
  • Relatively low variance in size, bristle hardness and features
  • Inflexible and rigid, difficult to get to those hard-to-reach places

Manual Toothbrushes:

  • Easy to manipulate and manoeuvre around the mouth
  • Come in a variety of shapes, sizes and bristle hardness (more suitable for differing ages)
  • Compact and easy to travel with
  • Easy to clean your tongue and cheeks with
  • No timer may be difficult to judge how long you’re brushing for
  • Physically demanding for those who suffer from muscular illnesses

At the end of the day, you need to have brushed your teeth at least twice for 2 minutes or more, so how you are getting that depends on your personal preference, and how thick your wallet is! For us, we’ll stick to the good ol’ fashioned hand and brush.

What type of toothbrush do you prefer?

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– Ryan

Why You Should Always Brush Your Teeth Before Bed

It’s pretty common knowledge that you need to brush your teeth before bed. After a difficult day of eating and drinking, we are all tempted to jump into bed and fall asleep. But wait! What about those nasty food particles stuck in between your teeth? These evil little bacteria cause both cavities and tooth/gum decay, and must be vanquished before they spread and continue to cause harm as you sleep.

If you’ve already brushed and start eating again, that vigorous brushing session was wasted! As soon as your teeth come into contact with more food/beverages the bacteria begins to multiply again, and you must return to the bathroom and brush your teeth before you sleep.

So if you’re looking to avoid a hefty bill at your next dentist appointment, we recommend brushing for an average of 2-3 minutes before you head off to sleep! And remember:

germs_never_sleep_01

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– Ryan

Protecting your teeth from the alcohols

From the headline I think you can gather what this post is about. If you’re planning on having a big night of drinking, you need to make sure that you take all the steps to protecting your teeth from the decay caused by the sugars in spirits, beers and soft drink mixers.

  • As you’re out and about, it’s good practice to constantly drink water. Apart from the obvious hydration aspect, this also helps cleanse your mouth of any harmful sugars found in alcohol.
  • Chewing gum throughout the night (and especially after on the way home) is a good way to stimulate saliva flow and stop sugars and acids from sitting on your teeth.
  • Of course, the most important aspect is brushing and flossing your teeth before you collapse on your bed. Getting rid of any last traces of alcohol and sugars in your mouth makes sure that they will not sit and rot your teeth overnight, as well as strengthen your enamel (and keep that breath smellin’ fine).

Here’s something to get you in the mood for a good night out, and to keep you distracted when you are furiously brushing away:

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twitter https://twitter.com/TimeToBrush

– Ryan

Welcome!

Welcome to our website! We thought the first post here should be about who we are, and what we hope to achieve through our campaign.

A surprising proportion of young Australians experience oral health issues, due to a number of factors ranging from poor diet to bad dental care habits.

We hope to both educate and encourage young people to properly look after their teeth, and shape positive dental habits for later life.

This campaign is run by Leo Hennessy and Ryan Shanahan, two 20 year-old media students from Sydney, Australia. We hope you enjoy the information and posts to come, and if you have any thoughts, questions, or just want to say hi, we would love to hear from you!

You can also stay connected with us on a number of other platforms, like:

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(
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#timetobrush

– Ryan