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7 tips for beautiful teeth

“The more often, the better” – this is the unwritten law when it comes to brushing teeth. Or is it? Tikbow has seven tips on dental care that may surprise you.

1.  Reach for chewing gum instead of toothpaste

Having just swallowed the last bite, hygiene fanatics like to dash straight to cleaning their teeth. Exemplary? No way: In the worst case, this can actually harm the teeth! The reason: After eating food, especially food containing acids (e.g. fruit, fruits such as kiwi or apples), acids are formed in the mouth. These attack the minerals in the enamel, which weakens their protective layer – if the teeth are now brushed, i.e. the acids are "massaged in", the enamel is permanently removed. People with receding gums in particular risk damage right up to the dentin. Therefore: Take a toothbrush at least half an hour after eating – during this time, enough saliva has been formed in the mouth to neutralize the acid. Immediately after eating, sugar-free chewing gum also helps to stimulate saliva production.

2 Brushing with fluoride

Of course, we also know about the debate: fluoride (the salts of hydrofluoric acid) contained in commercial toothpaste is said to poison the body, even causing teeth and bones to crumble. More and more people are therefore turning to organic pastes that are explicitly produced without fluoride. The problem is that tooth enamel needs fluoride to be resistant to acids. Without an intact protective layer, the enamel would deteriorate and, even worse, degrade in the long term. And once it is gone, the pain-sensitive dentin is left unprotected. In addition, numerous clinical studies have shown that formulations without fluoride do not offer any caries prophylaxis, and they also fail Stiftung Warentest tests. In any case, fluoride would only be toxic in extreme quantities. And this cannot be absorbed by ordinary tooth brushing.

3. use toothpaste with care

Most people rely on the pea as a guideline, so use a pea-sized amount – after all, word has spread that the überlange strip from toothpaste advertising is too much of a good thing. But the reverse is also true: if the amount is too small, the active ingredients contained in the toothpaste cannot develop sufficiently to clean the teeth. A strip one centimeter long is therefore ideal.

4. change your brushing technique

Surely you still brush with the rotational technique you learned in your childhood, right? However, experts warn that the circular motion of the brush does not remove bacteria and plaque, but pushes them under the gum line, which can lead to inflammation. The most effective method is considered by experts to be the sweeping technique. To do this, place the toothbrush at a slight angle, at the transition from the gum to the tooth, and virtually wipe away the plaque. 6.

5 Spitting instead of rinsing

Brush your teeth, rinse your mouth with water and spit the whole thing into the sink – that’s what happens twice a day in German bathrooms. The problem is that the active ingredients of the toothpaste are flushed out in this way. It is better to spit out the toothpaste residue after brushing without rinsing, so that the active ingredients can better adhere to the tooth and develop their protective effect there. Don’t worry, the small amounts of toothpaste swallowed in this way are absolutely harmless to health (even with fluoride-containing formulations!). Manufacturers have to prove that their pastes are harmless before they are approved.

6 Do not brush too often

When it comes to hygiene, the rule of thumb should be: More helps more – but that’s not the case at all. Excessive tooth brushing can lead to brushing defects such as exposed tooth sockets, which react sensitively to cold, heat or salt. If the teeth are cleaned thoroughly for three minutes at a time, brushing twice a day is sufficient, i.e. in the morning and especially in the evening before going to bed. In particular, toothbrushes with hard bristles and pastes with a whitening effect that contain abrasive substances (i.e. brushes that rub off stains) should never be used more frequently: This would be too aggressive for the tooth enamel.

7. floss every day

It is well known that even the most modern brushes cannot reach the interdental spaces. Many people therefore use a mouthwash or antibacterial rinse – which unfortunately is not enough. Bacterial plaque can only be removed mechanically, i.e. with interdental brushes or good old dental floss. If you don’t use one of these every day, you risk tooth decay and unattractive stains on your teeth.

Tikbow was professionally advised by Berlin oral surgeon Dr. Andreas Schwitalla.