Dentist shares six ‘secrets’ to good dental health – and brushing your teeth isn’t one

Five signs that you may have gum disease

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CHIEF orthodontist Dr Khaled Kasem offers up some surprising secrets to achieve good dental health – and it’s not the traditional brushing your teeth, flossing, and avoiding sugary snacks (although they all help). Based at Impress Orthodontics, Dr Kasem pointed out that food can play a powerful part in dental health. For example, dairy – especially cheese – can strengthen your teeth. Dr Kasam credits calcium and vitamin D (found in dairy) for contributing to stronger gnashers.

And if you’d like pearly whites, Dr Kasam has some good news. “The lactic acid found in cheese can help to lift stains from tooth enamel,” he said.

Another surprising way to improve your dental health is to eat chocolate – dark chocolate, to be specific.

“Powerful anti-bacterial agents” are found in dark chocolate, which can help to fight cavities, confirmed Dr Kasam.

“However, this doesn’t mean you should be indulging in chocolate, as you only need a small amount to benefit,” he cautioned.

Another good bite to consider is an apple which, aside from its nutritional content, can also increase salvia production.

Increased saliva “serves as a protector of our teeth and helps to naturally remove dental plaque”, Dr Kasam explained.

Fruits can also be beneficial, such as strawberries and blueberries – perfect for adding on to your morning porridge.

“Strawberries contain a high amount of xylitol, which is responsible for attacking the bacteria that causes dental plaque,” said Dr Kasam.

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As for blueberries, these are considered “one of our greatest allies in preventing gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis”.

Dr Kasam also pointed out that celery “is one of the industry’s most recommended vegetables due to its natural anti-bacterial properties”.

“Whether consumed in juices, soups or creams, the malic acid contained within celery also promotes saliva production to clean your teeth naturally,” Dr Kasam added on.

Taking good care of your dental health is key to help prevent your teeth from falling out.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is another term to describe gum disease, the NHS verified.

Early warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing your teeth

When gum disease advances, it turns into periodontitis, where the tissues and bones that support the teeth become affected.

Symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth that can make eating difficult
  • Collections of pus that develop under your gums or teeth (gum abscesses).

Gum disease treatment

Good oral hygiene is the best way to treat gum disease, and this includes brushing your teeth, twice daily, for two minutes.

It also involves flossing daily, not smoking, and regularly visiting your dentist – at least once every two years.

If you need help or advice about giving up smoking, call the free NHS Smokefree National Helpline on 0300 123 1044.

“Giving up smoking can greatly improve your oral hygiene,” added the NHS.

Dental treatments for gum disease can include scale and polish (i.e. a professional clean), root planing (a deep clean under the gums), or periodontal surgery.

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