With all the day to day things we put our teeth through, keeping them in their best shape can sometimes prove to be quite the obstacle. We try to eat at least three times a day and that’s not even including all the coffees, drinks, and snacks that we indulge. Let’s face it, our teeth go through a lot and the reality is that it’s much easier to take care of them before they get bad instead of trying to treat them after an issue has come up. In the long run, following a few of these simple tricks will not only help you feel and look better but will also save you a couple trips to the dentist.
Obviously the best thing for oral hygiene begins with brushing your teeth. This may seem like common sense but improving on your brushing techniques and how often you brush can make a huge difference. The vast majority of people typically brush their teeth in the morning and then maybe right before bed. But it’s actually recommended that you brush after every meal. One little trick that I’ve seen people do is that they carry a toothbrush around with them and they brush whenever they can. It’s also important to not brush too hard or too soft. You want to brush semi-rough while still being gentle. It’s also recommended that you brush in tiny circles and to avoid brushing harshly back and forth.
Ofcourse with brushing comes flossing. The two go hand in hand but unfortunately a good amount of people do not floss on a daily basis. As with brushing, flossing as much as possible is also critical to maintaining good oral hygiene. If you don’t floss, plaque and food can build up in those hard to reach places which will increase your likelihood of developing a cavity. More cavities mean more trips to the dentist and more trips to the dentist means more money you may have to spend on procedures and things. Flossing takes only a minute or so and can make a huge difference.
Mouthwash is an often overlooked product that can really improve your oral hygeine. While brushing and flossing get all the credit usually, using mouthwash also contributes. Not only does it fight bad breath and bacteria but it can help whiten your teeth and improve your smile. However, you do not want to use mouthwash as an alternative to brushing or flossing. Many people think that if they just rinse their mouth out real quick they don’t have to brush or floss but this is a false misconception. Mouthwash can help if used in addition to other processes but not in place of them.
4.) Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Next to brushing and flossing regularly, the most important thing you can do to maintain a healthy mouth is to visit your dentist regularly. By visiting your dentist regularly they can keep you up to date on anything and address any issues you might be facing. The last thing you want is to have a cavity or something wrong and it not get attention for a long period of time. You want to address things as soon as possible in order to avoid any more serious predicaments. Dentists also have the best tools and training for cleaning your teeth and can ensure your teeth are as clean as they can be. Most would recommend that you schedule a checkup at least once every 6 months if not more.
5.) Avoid Foods High in Sugar
If you are a junk food or candy advocate this tip can prove to be the most difficult for you. You’d be surprised to see just how badly sugars can eat away at your teeth and gums. Cut down on your sugar intake and your teeth will thank you. Many people don’t realize this but fruits and many other overlooked foods can actually be quite high in sugar despite being labeled as “healthy”. It is important to be aware and to keep track of your dieting habits. If you do find yourself indulging in these high sugar foods at least try to brush and floss right away to minimize the consequences.
6.) Avoid Smoking
Smoking is one of the most unforgiving things you can do to you mouth. It destroys your gums, weakens your teeth and drastically reduces your chance of a successful dental procedure. Smoking also increases your risk of mouth cancers, gives you bad breath, yellows your teeth and is just an all around culprit for poor dental health.
7.) Stop Drinking Coffee
Coffee may be a lifesaver especially for people with fast paced lifestyles. But the sad truth is that coffee is terrible for your teeth. Coffee and soda both have acids in them that can slowly eat away at your enamel. Not just that, but coffee is notorious for making your teeth that dreaded yellow color. And to top it all off, coffee makes your breath smell bad and can put more bacteria in your mouth. After a closer look, giving up that morning brew might just prove to be worth it in the long run.
8.) Drink More Tap Water
To the surprise of many, drinking tap water actually can greatly improve your dental health. Tap water typically has copious amounts of fluoride added to it which is extremely beneficial for your teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) even did a recent study that concluded that the flouride in our tap water helps reduce tooth decay by almost 25%. Not only do you get to stay hydrated but you get to fight tooth decay at the same time.
9.) Buy a Better Toothbrush
We’ve already discussed how essential it is to brush on a regular basis but to take that further you might want to invest in a better toothbrush. Most people don’t consider the fact that the type of toothbrush you’re using can make a huge difference on how well you’re cleaning your teeth. Toothbrushes that are really stiff and rough can actually prove to be counterproductive as they will tear up your gums and cause further problems. On the contrary toothbrushes that are too soft wont be strong enough to scrub away plaque and bacteria. You want to really go through you options and pick the best toothbrush that gets the best of both worlds.
10.) Don’t Forget Your Tongue and Gums
A common problem most people face with dental hygiene is that they get so caught up in cleaning and maintaining their teeth they often overlook their gums and tongue which are equally as essential. When brushing your teeth be sure to spend some time scrubbing your tongue. After all, your tongue contains most of the germs and bacteria in your mouth and is one of the major contributors to bad breath. You also want to pay attention to your gums. Your gums are much more sensitive than your tongue so it’s important to be very gentle.