You know the basics about your teeth. Things like: Teeth makes it easier to chew food, and brushing your teeth is important. But how much do you really know about these pearly, enamel wonders in your mouth?

Below are five things you need to know about your teeth. It could change the way you think about your oral health:

1) Teeth tell the truth about you.

Without a word being said, your mouth – more specifically, your teeth – tell a lot about you. An examination of your teeth can reveal to trained professionals your age, and the foods and beverages you eat often. In some cases, your teeth can indicate in which part of the world you live! More importantly, your teeth’s condition can point to other medical problems.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "There is also a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from professional teeth cleanings. Even though oral health isn't a key to heart disease prevention, it's important to take care of your teeth and gums."

2) Flossing teeth is essential, too.

Brushing teeth is crucial and is recommended to be done twice daily, for two minutes each time. But most toothbrushes cannot get in between teeth, where food can get trapped, and bacteria can build up – which can lead to gum and tooth problems later. Flossing and rinsing is one effective way to get to those hard-to-reach areas between teeth.

Thorough cleanings can also be done at your dentist’s office. Moreover, these cleanings can remove the plaque, stains, and tartar buildup that can’t be addressed with a regular or electric toothbrush.

3) You can chew gum and keep cavities at bay.

There's good news and bad news about gum chewing.

First, the bad news: You’ve probably heard this before but it’s worth repeating. Sugar-filled gums chewed often, can lead to cavities and possibly other oral health problems. Even some of the mint gums meant to freshen breath are loaded with sugar.

Chewing gum, in general, can be bad for someone with braces or for those who frequently grind or clench their teeth. The gum can loosen braces or get caught in the wiring, sometimes causing sugar buildup which can lead to cavities. The chewing motion can worsen the teeth grinding/clenching problem.

Now the good news: If you don’t have braces or teeth-grinding/clenching problems, there is still a way to enjoy gum while keeping cavities away! Yes, indeed – but there is a catch.
"If you can’t imagine your life without chewing gum, be sure to look for gum that isn’t loaded with sugar — or better yet, a sugarless gum that’s sweetened with xylitol (a natural sweetener). Look for the ADA seal of approval that indicates a dentist recommended gum," said Dr. David Evans, DDS. In fact, chewing sugar-free gum can help increase saliva (see benefits of saliva, as listed above), Evans wrote in a recent blog.

4) Saliva is good for your teeth’s health.
Talking about saliva may leave a bad taste in your mouth – figuratively speaking, of course. But what most people don’t realize is that saliva helps keep teeth strong and healthy by playing a big role in the re-mineralization of the enamel. Saliva cleans the mouth somewhat and rinses away bacteria which causes cavities.

Conversely, dry mouth can spur tooth decay. Drinking plenty of water, and using a dry mouth rinse when necessary, can help in those instances. Dry mouth rinse is different than mouthwash, and neither is a substitute for brushing your teeth twice daily for a total of four minutes. Consult your dentist about your dry mouth situation if it happens more than occasionally.

5) Not all teeth whitening techniques and products work in all instances.
It makes sense that whitening will not work on veneers (a layer of material put over a tooth’s front surface), fillings, caps, or crowns (which cover the entire tooth).

But not all discolored teeth will respond to various whitening treatments. According to the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Mouth Healthy website, yellow teeth will likely respond to bleaching. But brown teeth may not respond as well, and teeth with gray tones may not whiten at all. Bleaching also will not work well, if at all, on teeth discolored as a side effect of medication or injury to the teeth. Consult your dentist before beginning any whitening regimen.

Now that you know these “tooth truths,” you are well on your way to better dental hygiene and dental health! Don’t forget to visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings regularly. Don’t wait until there is a tooth pain or gum problem before making a dental appointment. The ADA recommends one or two dental visits each year, adding visits during the year as needed. In between visits, remember to replace your toothbrush approximately every three or four months, or whenever the bristles get frayed.

Take care of your teeth now. Save yourself some time, pain, and money by being proactive with your oral health.

Author's Bio: 

Dan Blacharski is a thought leader consultant to high-profile dotcom companies. He is editor-in-chief of Spotlighting News.