People suffering from xerostomia are at an increased risk of oral problems caused by the lack of saliva, which, as we have discussed in previous articles, plays an important role in protecting the mouth and teeth.
When you are diagnosed with xerostomia or dry mouth, doctors recommend that you be extra careful about oral hygiene to prevent possible complications from dry mouth. Oral hygiene measures may include dental care, moisturizing your mouth and mucous membranes, taking care of your nutrition and visiting the dentist twice a year.
We usually think that brushing our teeth too long and too vigorously right after eating improves our oral hygiene. This is a mistake that can threaten our teeth, particularly in the case of people with dry mouth.
Here are some tips to brush your teeth properly if you have dry mouth.
1) Do not brush your teeth immediately after eating
The acidity of the mouth increases after eating and the enamel is weakened. If you brush your teeth you will scrub the acid against the teeth’s surface and may extend the acid throughout the mouth, damaging the enamel.
You should wait between half an hour and an hour before brushing your teeth after eating. Thus, saliva can balance the pH level of the mouth neutralizing acids and repairing the tooth enamel.
2) Rinse your mouth with water after meals
Instead of running to brush your teeth after eating, it is preferable to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Water will help balance the pH of the mouth.
3) Chew fluoride sugar-free gum or candies after eating or snacking
After meals chew fluoride sugar-free gum rich in calcium to accelerate cleaning of food scraps, promote salivation and enhance remineralization of teeth.
If the state of your teeth is poor, instead of gum, try sucking on sugarless fluoride candies.
4) Avoid overbrushing
Do not brush your teeth more than three times a day… at least not regularly.
Brushing your teeth to much or too hard can damage the enamel, gums and mucous membranes. Brushing teeth two to three times a day is ideal.
As noted above, it is better to rinse your mouth with water often, chew fluoride gum, suck on fluoride candies (sugar-free, of course) and, obviously, avoid snacking between meals.
5) Brush your teeth carefully…
Your teeth are not a pan. There is no need to vigorously scrub your teeth to remove plaque or food debris. Brush your teeth gently without crushing the bristles against them. Aggressive brushing can be harmful to the gums and weaken tooth enamel. If you think you’re using a lot of pressure, try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand.
6) … for a suitable amount of time
Brushing time should last between two and three minutes, but the technique is what is really important. If you do not brush your teeth properly, two minutes can be a very short time.
7) Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
In people with dry mouth, tooth enamel is usually weaker, so it is advisable to choose the toothbrush with the softest bristles that you can find.
8) Use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash
Use fluoride toothpaste. In general, avoid products with a pH of less than 5.5, as well as those with alcohol or irritating compounds.
Specific dry mouth mouthwashes contain fluoride and may also help prevent dental problems.
9) Avoid toothpaste abuse
Too much toothpaste may damage your teeth causing abrasion and sensitive teeth. It is advisable to first clean them without toothpaste, and instead only use water.
10) Brush your teeth from top to bottom
Brushing your teeth is not like cleaning a window. The purpose of brushing teeth is to remove food debris remains in the mouth, not extend them through the mouth.
-Avoid snacking between meals.
-Avoid eating sweet or sticky foods.
-Floss your teeth every day.
-Rinse your mouth frequently with water.
-Visit the dentist at least twice a year.