A good day in the life of your teeth
The alarm goes off. After the usual number of hits on the snooze button, you gulp down the glass of water beside your bed before you realise that it tastes stale after the night.
This water will kick start the moisture levels in your mouth before you start the day's assault on your teeth.
Breakfast. Whatever gets you started for the day is great.
Just before you leave the house, brush your teeth gently and thoroughly using fluoride toothpaste. It doesn't matter what brand as long as you like the taste. Take some time and concentrate on what you are doing, not on what will happen in the day ahead.
If you need to eat between meals, do not graze, no nibbling, just eat it!
Every time you eat and drink, the bacteria in your mouth convert the food/drink into acids that attack your teeth for the next 20 minutes. This acid softens your enamel by removing minerals from its structure, but over time your saliva will neutralise the acid and remineralise the tooth exterior. How long this takes depends on how good your salivary flow is, which in turn depends on how much water you drink.
Have a water bottle nearby so you can keep your water intake up. Try for 1½ litres of plain water per day.
Lunch, yay! It’s time to push in some fuel to get you through the afternoon. I'm not a nutritionist, I don't mind if you eat rubbish at mealtimes.
Don't use your teeth to bite cellotape, thread, or to open stuff. They are not built for the type of pressures that these behaviors exert on them. You will flake off pieces of enamel and I then have to repair them. Find the scissors and drink some more water.
Dinner, double yay! The day is over and time for real food. Please watch out for olive stones, they are the new "Minties” as far as dentists are concerned.
As you have that post dinner snack/drink and suddenly realise that the acid is eating into your enamel structure, do not run and brush your teeth immediately after. Give the enamel some time to remineralise and harden again. If you are keen to do something, just have a drink of water.
Before bed, floss or use interdental brushes then brush thoroughly and paying attention to what you are doing.
Do not brush your teeth in the shower. This is not efficient, it wastes water and you can't watch what you are doing.
Take a glass of water to bed to have first thing in the morning.
Although most of us haven't always been the best carers of our teeth it is definitely never too late to start. As long as the good days outnumber the bad, your teeth can be very forgiving.