Taking care of your teeth might be a sore subject, on account of being tedious and conjuring up your parents’ lectures. But your parents had a point – oral health is really important for various reasons, from aesthetics, to being able to eat, having nice breath, preventing severe pain, and last but not least, avoiding some serious financial downfalls.
And the good news is, maintaining decent oral health is generally easier than you might think, as long as you’re systematic. In that spirit, here are 11 easy ways to take care of your teeth.
1. Brush Regularly and Correctly
This is the first thing that would pop up in most people’s minds, and for good reason. The general rule of thumb is brushing your teeth at least twice a day, advisory for 2 minutes per session.
It’s a good idea to find a brush with a smaller head in order to be able to scrub the hard-to-reach places between the teeth which become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. You need to be thorough and diligent, but not to the extent of being rough and damaging your teeth and gums.
Flossing has long been considered the real mark of diligence in teeth-caring, the extra step that should be treated as a regular one. However, so many people skip it and overlook its importance, largely due to the inconvenient and arduous nature of this method. Perhaps such people would be happy to hear that in recent years, flossing’s stock has actually gone down, with some experts claiming it doesn’t actually help with gum diseases.
That being said, when you draw the line, the potential benefits that flossing offers by far outweigh the potential risks, and really the worst thing that could happen is a bit of time lost, whereas the best thing could be much healthier teeth and gums. Especially for people with teeth structure that predisposes food to get stuck, flossing is practically a must. (See also: 7 Benefits Of Water Flosser You Should Know)
3. Use Mouthwash
The power of mouthwash is another thing that has been largely overlooked, perhaps because this method is so easy and even lazy that it can be mistaken for a way to cut corners. However, there’s a reason why a lot of mouthwashes claim to kill 99% of bacteria, including those that brushing doesn’t.
Not only does mouthwash lower the amount of acid we all have in our mouths and help mineralize the teeth, but it’s actually very useful for cleaning the parts which the toothbrush can’t reach, especially around the gums.
Not to mention it’s like a breath of fresh air for your own breath.
4. Use Dentist Recommended Products
In addition to mouthwash and toothpaste, there are a lot of other products out there that you can use. A lot of people doing care not only about the health but the aesthetic look of their teeth.
If you drink a lot of coffee or wine, your teeth may become permanently stained. You can go to the dentist to remedy this – it will take some time sitting in a chair to fix.
You can also do this in the safety of your own home (not everybody likes to visit the dentist if they don’t want to.) Keep in mind that products like activated charcoal whiten teeth, and you can buy your own kits online, and at pharmacies.
5. Drink Water
Drinking water and staying hydrated have some serious hype behind them in the Internet space, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for a fad with no foundation. Not only is staying hydrated vital to your overall well being, (and by staying hydrated, we mean drinking water before you actually get thirsty) but also to your teeth in particular.
To make things simple, it works like this: we all have acidity in our mouths which is bad for the teeth. Dehydration intensifies acidity. One of the saliva’s main functions is to mitigate that acidity, and completely not coincidentally, saliva is made from water. Therefore, drinking water helps bring the acidity in our mouths down.
On a more trivial and superficial note, water also helps rinse your mouth, washing away leftover food and bacteria.
6. Quit Smoking
As if you didn’t have a good enough reason to quit, smoking is actually bad for your teeth as well. Smoking is a catalyst for bacteria and plaque growth. The nicotine and tar which are the two most prevalent substances in cigarettes erode gums, not to mention they turn your teeth yellow. And if that wasn’t enough, smoking can also lead to oral cancer. (See also: How Exercise Helps You To Quit Smoking)
There’s a reason why the holistic approach to medicine is generally considered the ultimate philosophy. If your body isn’t healthy, chances are neither are your teeth. A balanced diet that provides all the necessary minerals, vitamins, and nutrients will not only keep your teeth nourished but also your saliva which also plays a key role in oral health.
8. Herbal Teas and Herbs
Herbal teas and herbs are powerful cleansers for your body and your mouth and palette in particular. Herbal, green, red, and white teas are known to stop plaque in its tracks.
On the other hand, herbs like aloe vera, cloves, turmeric, and licorice help keep gums and teeth infection-free, alleviate gum inflammation, curb plaque and gingivitis, and can slow down and even stop tooth decay and gum diseases.
9. Avoid Sugary and Acidic Foods and Carbonated Drinks
Sugary foods and sodas aren’t the healthiest treats in general, but they are particularly detrimental to your oral health.
Sugar turns into acid in the mouth, which respectively eats away the enamel of your teeth and causes cavities. And to make things even more disappointing for those with a sweet tooth, sugar is more ubiquitous than you might think. Carbonated drinks, even diet soda, are highly inadvisable in that regard. So are many sports drinks, despite having a reputation for being healthy. Sugar is also the foundation of alcohol, especially of certain types, and even though most spirits taste like anything but sweet, they’re also not beneficial to your teeth.
Citrus fruit, as healthy as they can be in general, shouldn’t be devoured in huge quantities either as they are highly acidic and as such erode enamel over time.
Coffee, even though it doesn’t belong in any of the two food/drink categories, is also worth mentioning as it wears down enamel, in addition to making your teeth yellow, similar to cigarettes.
It’s important to remember that probably not even the strictest of dentists would order you to completely quit all these foods and drinks. Almost everything is bad for you in one way or another, and as long as you keep an eye on your hazardous habits and Achilles heels, you shouldn’t have to implement radical lifestyle and diet changes.
10. Crunchy Vegetables and Fruit
It may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but unless your teeth are already in the fragile state, eating crunchy vegetables and fruit can actually be good for your teeth, giving them a workout to keep them in shape and reinforcing their durability.
11. Scrub Your Tongue (Gently)
Last but certainly not least, you shouldn’t let your tongue fly under the radar and go unscrubbed. Tongues that don’t get any hygienic attention become major breeding grounds for bacteria, becoming one of the main causes of bad breath and other oral health problems. Some experts even advise using a stainless-steel tongue scraper.
As you can see, taking care of your teeth, especially from a preventative standpoint, isn’t such an arduous or excruciatingly depriving of joy task. Just a little bit of caution and care can save you tons of problems and money later on.
About The Author:
Maria Brendel is a frequent traveler and freelance writer. She has finished her studies in the literature. She likes to write on travel, General and current affairs. She also works closely with B2C And B2B businesses providing blog writing and copywriting services. Her aim in life is to write a novel.