Taking care of your oral health is something that can feel easy to do—brush, floss, and visit your dentist in Asheville. Easy, right?
Not so fast. While taking care of your teeth can be as easy as 1, 2, 3, there are some oral health hacks you should know about to make your oral care easier. These are things many people don’t think to do when taking care of their smile.
Can you think of six things to do to better care for your smile? Next time you’re reaching for your toothbrush, keep the following six oral health hacks in mind!
Consider an Electric Toothbrush
Although brushing your teeth is a great regardless of what type of toothbrush you use, many people benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
The brush head is small, therefore it makes getting every angle of your tooth easier. It also spins on its own accord, so all you need to do is aim the brush. This means you can see better results with less effort on your part.
Electric toothbrushes are known to clean your teeth better than a manual toothbrush for many people. In fact, studies show that electric brushes remove 21% more plaque than regular brushes.
Not everyone will love electric toothbrushes—brushing your teeth is important regardless of what brush you use. Also, replacing your toothbrush (brush head for electric toothbrushes) every three months is essential! Always choose a soft-bristled brush to avoid enamel damage from hard or aggressive brushing.
Clean Your Tongue
Your mouth is full of bacteria.
Don’t panic! Many of these species of bacteria are beneficial for your mouth. This is especially true if you take proper care of your oral health.
However, your mouth can contain 1,000—1 million different bacteria, depending on your unique oral composition and cleanliness. Some of these species of bacteria only exist on your tongue!
This means you could be brushing your teeth every day and still experience bad breath. The answer is simple: start cleaning your tongue every time you brush.
With your toothbrush or with a tongue scraper, simply brush your tongue back to front and side to side before rinsing with water. This can help get rid of bacteria that’ll affect your teeth. If you don’t want to use a tongue scraper, simply choose a brush with an attached tongue cleaner.
Be sure not to brush or scrape too hard, as this can damage the tongue. Just as when brushing your teeth, be gentle!
Cleaning your tongue is one of the easiest oral health hacks, but one that not everyone does! Brush your teeth and tongue before breakfast for even more benefits.
Drinking water is not only vital to your body but has some great benefits for your oral cavity as well.
Here’s a snapshot of how drinking more water can help improve your teeth and gum health:
- Sipping water hydrates you, therefore combating dry mouth. Dry mouth can cause bad breath, overgrowth of bad bacteria, and eventually, tooth decay.
- Water helps to neutralize extremely acidic foods, like sugar or alcohol. This can prevent these substances from attacking your tooth enamel, therefore protecting your teeth!
Water essentially helps to clean your mouth throughout the day when you’re unable to brush between meals. This clear, calorie-free liquid acts as a buffer between food and your smile visit the website.
Bonus: drinking water with fluoride can actually strengthen teeth and further protect them from cavities!
Staying hydrated is a must, particularly if you’re on any medications that can cause dry mouth. Keep water with you throughout the day and don’t be afraid to sip away!
Choose Xylitol Gum
Chewing gum can actually be beneficial for your smile! Gum that contains xylitol instead of sugar can help create a healthier mouth during your day.
Xylitol is a compound that’s used as a sweetener, but it can actually help re-mineralize teeth, therefore strengthening enamel and reducing chances for cavities. Chewing gum with xylitol can also increase your saliva flow, which in turn helps to neutralize bad bacteria and protect teeth.
This is one oral health hack that can help reduce bad breath, inhibit tooth decay, and help create stronger teeth. If you’re a gum chewer, switch to xylitol gum for some of these added benefits!
Use a Straw
At first glance, it would seem like using a straw has nothing to do with your pearly whites.
Using a straw is an excellent oral health hack for two reasons.
First, using a straw helps to prevent staining of the teeth. This is because it allows liquids to effectively bypass your teeth, therefore leaving your enamel untouched. Since our tooth enamel is porous, it can become stained over time, which is why many people opt for a professional teeth whitening procedure.
Using a straw for beverages such as coffee and tea can help to minimize tooth staining. Drink these liquids cold when using this hack, as plastic straws don’t mix well with piping hot beverages!
The second benefit of using a straw comes when consuming sugary drinks. We know that sugary beverages such as soda and energy drinks are hugely damaging to our smiles. If you must consume these drinks, do so with a straw. The liquids will bypass your teeth and minimize enamel damage when you drink them with a straw.
Get the straws out for your favorite drinks—it’s time to protect your smile from staining and tooth decay!
Wait to Brush
Many people think any time is a great time to brush. This includes right after meals or after consuming something sweet. In fact, the opposite is true!
When we first eat acidic or sweet foods, our enamel is weakened. This means that if we attempt to brush our teeth directly after this, we have a higher chance of removing some of our enamel in the process. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and cavities.
It’s never a good idea to brush directly after a meal. If you’re in the habit of brushing after eating, make it a rule to wait 30 minutes before doing so. Brushing your teeth when your mouth has just been introduced to acidic agents can damage your smile more than you think!
These oral health hacks are simple, but incorporating them into your oral care routine can make a world of difference. Consider giving an electric toothbrush a try for enhanced plaque removal. Clean your tongue when you brush your teeth. Drink plenty of water to help your oral bacteria remain in balance and neutralize your mouth.
Consider using a straw when consuming coffee and soda, and choose xylitol gum to chew. Always wait 30 minutes after a meal to brush, and visit your dentist in Asheville. By getting regular checkups with your Asheville dental practice, you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease for a healthy smile!