You brush your teeth twice a day. You floss. You even see the dentist regularly. Is there anything else that you can do to have healthier teeth? Yes!
Strong oral health is critical. Your mouth is a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. If they grow out of control your teeth might be irreparably harmed, putting you at risk of developing an infection. The good news is that there’s a lot that you can do to reduce the number of germs in your mouth.
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to perfect dental health.
1. Skip the Bottled Water
A majority of American cities and towns now fluoridate the water supply. It’s been so effective at reducing plaque and cavities among the general population that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called it one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Drink tap water instead of bottled to get the benefits.
2. Scrape Your Tongue
It sounds gross but scraping the germs off of your tongue is actually a very effective strategy. Not only does the process remove nasty bacteria from your mouth, it also freshens your breath. It’s a cheap, easy way to improve your health.
You can buy a tongue scraper online or at most convenience stores.
3. Avoid Sugar
Soda, candy, frosted cupcakes, it’s all delicious and it’s all terrible for your teeth. Too much sugar can destroy your mouth, causing cavities and infections. A reasonably healthy diet can help you avoid these problems.
“In addition to the sugary foods many of us consume on a daily basis, other habits such as smoking cigarettes and drinking soda also are detrimental to our teeth,” writes popular Yuma, Arizona, dental clinic Yuma Smiles.
“Our sedentary lifestyles negatively impact our oral health as well. Lack of exercise can lead to digestive problems that cause stomach acids to rise into the mouth, harming our teeth.”
However, changing your diet isn’t exactly easy. Cutting out soda, in particular, seems to give people a lot of trouble. A good strategy is to start replacing one can a day with something else. Keep doing it until you no longer need your soda fix. It might take a while but it’s absolutely worth it.
4. Start Brushing After Meals
Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth after every meal or sugary snack. Whenever you eat, your teeth become bathed in sugar and food particles. The bacteria in your mouth start gorging themselves the moment they’re presented with food.
Interrupt their feast by cleaning your teeth about 30 minutes after your meals.
5. Practice Proper Brushing
Scrub your teeth too hard and you’ll scrape off the protective enamel. You should use gentle brushing movements instead. The goal is to clean your teeth, not to rub them raw.
You also need to think about your gums. Brushing your teeth too forcefully can damage your gums and lead to bleeding.
6. Remember to Floss
There’s a good chance that you already floss every night. If you do, that’s great! If you don’t, you need to start immediately. No matter how much you brush, there will be bits of food and sugar that sink into the crevices of your teeth. Flossing removed particles that you would never have been able to get with just a toothbrush.
Floss at the end of the day before you go to sleep. You don’t want to do it too often or it could tear your gums.
7. Try Oil Pulling
Grab your favorite oil (coconut is a popular choice) and swish it around your mouth like mouthwash. The ancient practice is used to “pull” bacteria and debris away from your teeth. The recent rise in holistic practices has caused an uptick in the number of Westerners interested in oil pulling.
8. Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Too much bacteria can make your breath reek. Get rid of bad breath by using a strong mouthwash every time you brush. Just make sure you choose one that’s designed to fight germs as well as improve your breath.
Your oral healthy probably isn’t on your mind very much. Once brushing your teeth becomes part of your routine, it’s easy to stop thinking about it. However, while you don’t need to obsess over it, you should occasionally think about the state of your mouth. Catching potential problems early could be the difference between losing or saving a tooth.
Even if you pearly whites are gleaming and you’re following every single tip on this list, you still need to see the dentist regularly. A professional cleaning and checkup can do wonders. Schedule an appointment every six months or so and you should be able to keep your teeth in great shape.