During the workday, you are probably too busy to think about your teeth. However, the oral bacteria that cause cavities are multiplying all the time, even while you work on an important presentation or collaborate with co-workers on an exciting new project. To prevent your career wreaking havoc on your teeth, turn these workday tooth care tips into daily habits.
Sipping sugary drinks while you work feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. Switching from regular to diet soda helps a little, but even diet sodas contain acids that soften tooth enamel. Other favorite office drinks, such as coffee and black tea, contain tannins that stain teeth. The best beverage for your teeth is water. Keep a bottle of it on your desk so you can stay well hydrated throughout the day.
Pack a Healthy Lunch
Some foods are worse for your teeth than others. Sugary snacks, like chocolate or candy, feed bacteria and encourage them to multiply. Swap these snacks for healthier options, like fruit, carrot sticks, plain yogurt, hummus or nuts.
Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush…
Cleaning your teeth after lunch helps to remove traces of food and bacteria, so it pays to keep a toothbrush in your desk drawer. However, it’s a good idea to wait 20–30 minutes after finishing your lunch before you brush. This is because acids in certain foods, such as citrus fruits, soften tooth enamel, allowing your toothbrush to wear away this protective surface layer of your teeth.
…Or Your Mouthwash and Floss
Brushing your teeth is a great start, but if you really want to feel fresh at work, you should consider flossing as well. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from the tiny gaps between your teeth, which the brush head is too big to fit into. Finish your after-lunch oral care routine by swishing mouthwash around your mouth to freshen breath and wash away any last traces of plaque.
When You Can’t Clean, Chew Gum
Left your toothbrush at home today? Don’t panic. Simply chewing on a piece of sugar-free gum can help to neutralize harmful acids and therefore protect your teeth. Keep gum in your pocket or on your desk so it’s always available when you need it.