There is no doubt about it: life is busy and sometimes our dental hygiene takes a backseat. Your mouth is just a small part of your body and with no discomfort or warning signs, it can be easy to neglect and not give it the proper care. But good dental hygiene not only gives you a lovely smile, it also improves your overall health. In addition to being important for your health, we also believe good dental hygiene is easier to achieve than most people think. Take a look at these five dental hygiene tips and tricks that will make your life easier and your smile brighter.
1. Try a tongue scraper. This inexpensive dental tool is found in the toothbrush/toothpaste aisle of your local drugstore and can be the quick extra step to your dental hygiene routine that can make a big difference. A tongue scraper cleans the surface of your tongue, removing bacteria that cause bad breath. Removing these bacteria from your tongue can also help maintain the correct acidic balance in your mouth. Though the tongue scraper has been shown to be more effective, if you don’t want to get one you can simply brush your tongue with your toothbrush after you brush your teeth.
2. Try this flossing time-saver. Often the least favorite dental hygiene undertaking, flossing is also one of the most neglected activities. If you hate to floss and feel like you don’t have enough time, try breaking the chore up. While you should be brushing at least twice a day, flossing only needs to happen once. However, it doesn’t have to happen at the same time. Try flossing your top teeth in the morning and your bottom teeth at night.
3. Clean your teeth with food. Did you know that some foods can actually help clean your teeth? Called “detergent foods,” foods like apples, carrots, and celery scrub your teeth and stimulate saliva in your mouth, which helps wash away germs and bacteria and prevents tooth decay. Use these foods as a natural toothbrush and make them the last thing you eat after a meal. Remember, these foods should never be used as a toothbrush replacement!
4. Drink more water. It’s pretty much unavoidable: drinking more water is good for you in just about every way, and this includes for your oral health. It goes without saying that if you’re drinking more water, you’re probably drinking less of the beverages that aren’t good for your teeth such as juice, soda, and alcoholic beverages. In addition, water helps wash away germs and bacteria that could linger on teeth and gums and cause problems. Even more helpfully, swish and rinse with water after every meal to give your mouth an extra wash.
5. Chew gum. If you’re on the go and don’t have time to brush but want a way to clean your teeth after a meal, try chewing a piece of sugar free gum. Chewing gum will stimulate saliva flow which will help wash away leftover food and germs.