You don’t have to be self-conscious about your smile— there are things you can do to keep your teeth looking clean and healthy at home. Although your dentist can help with regular cleanings and instructions on the right care, here are some ways to make sure your teeth stay healthy and strong for a lifetime.
Brush for the Right Length of Time
Even if you’ve heard that brushing your teeth for two minutes is the proper way to brush, most people don’t do this. In doing so, your teeth aren’t getting the care they need while you brush. Whether you set a timer, hum a song, or go about other things while you brush, it’s important to hit this two minute mark every time you brush.
Hold Your Toothbrush the Correct Way
Depending on how you hold your toothbrush, you might be brushing your teeth too hard. The key is to pretend you’re holding a pencil and softly and gently brush your teeth with small circles. Brushing too hard or using too strong of a grip does more harm than good and can damage your teeth and gums.
Using a mouthwash that has no alcohol is an effective way to wash away the bacteria. It also leaves you with fresher breath than brushing alone. Mouthwash with alcohol has the effect of drying out your gums, making it easier for bacteria to find a place in your mouth. If you opt for a fluoride mouthwash, use it at a different time than after brushing your teeth to get the most benefits. Also, avoid eating or drinking for about a half hour afterward.
Drink Your Coffee and Tea Without Sugar
Drinking coffee and tea with sugar introduces more sugar into your gums and enamel that can potentially stay there and cause cavities over time— on top of the potential for stains. It’s a simple step, so cut out sugar in your favorite beverage.
Clean Your Tongue
If you have bad breath, the majority of it comes from your tongue. Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue in the morning is an effective way to have fresh breath. Most toothbrushes also have a scrubbing pad on the back for this purpose.
Baking Soda Can Help
Baking soda is an effective teeth whitening agent that you can use once a week. Using baking soda periodically will help clean your teeth and maintain a healthy smile. Make sure to check with your dentist, since it can also have a negative effect on your enamel if you use it too much.
Cinnamon Gum Can Help
Cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamic aldehyde, which has been shown to stop the growth of bacteria. It’s beneficial to chew gum with this chemical, such as what you would find in Big Red. Make sure it’s sugar-free, of course!
Eat the Right Food
The most beneficial thing you can do for your teeth is to eat the right foods. Drinking heavy, sugary drinks and eating certain foods can cause your teeth to be heavily discolored and prone to decay. Enough time eating these foods can lead to your teeth being heavily stained. When possible, cut out sugar wherever you can. This is great for the rest of your body’s health, too!
Don’t Get Dehydrated
Drink water often throughout the day to help flush bacteria out of your mouth. Drinking water has many other benefits, but for your teeth, it helps get rid of harmful bacteria and also helps achieve your recommended dosage for the day. It can also help cut down on stains if you drink some water after having coffee or tea.
Don’t Open Things with Your Teeth
Your teeth are meant to chew and break up food, so never use your teeth as a can opener or other tool. By doing this, you put yourself at risk of damaging or chipping your teeth which can cause health concerns and require some expensive treatment. When possible, use other tools to open things.
Schedule an Appointment
Getting the right care for your teeth requires the help of an experienced and reliable dentist. To meet with our team and learn more about dental health for a lifetime, we invite you to contact our Cincinnati office by calling or filling out our online form.