We all want to take good care of our teeth. Having a nice smile and avoiding bad breath aren’t bad ideas, either. So why do we sometimes fail to do those basic things, like brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist?
In a word: Time. We’re all busy, and there are too many things that can get in the way of a good oral hygiene routine.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a drill sergeant about your oral hygiene routine to keep your mouth clean and healthy. Here are some little-known oral health tips that will let you keep up the daily dental care without cutting into your busy schedule… too much.
Try an electric toothbrush. The moving head of an electric toothbrush can work it’s way into small spaces more easily than a manual toothbrush, and the scrubbing action helps remove plaque. Added benefit: It’s faster, so you’ll shave a few seconds off your oral hygiene routine!
Wait until you rinse. Fluoride, found in your toothpaste, is a great way to protect your teeth. But rinsing immediately after you brush can wash away the fluoride before it has had a chance to work. So wait a few minutes before rinsing. Do some other part of your morning or nighttime routine while you are waiting.
Separate your toothbrushes. Believe it or not, germs can hop from toothbrush to toothbrush if they are in contact with each other in a holder. Make sure that family toothbrushes are stored at least an inch apart. Or better yet, use separate holders.
Replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Or, if you’re not ready to do that, soak it in diluted hydrogen peroxide. Again, germs live on toothbrushes! Don’t let your oral hygiene routine be the thing that spreads them.
Fight bad breath with… veggies? Fibrous vegetables with a high water content– think cucumber, celery, and carrots– can help balance the pH in your mouth and scrape away other bits of food and bacteria that cause bad breath.
Chew your way to better dental health. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking can help protect your teeth and gums. Better yet, finish your meal with a cube of cheese. This can help reduce the effect of acids from food on your teeth.
Cut back on the soda. People who drink three or more glasses of soda per day have an average of 62% more tooth decay than those who drink less. Each cup or can sets you back in your daily dental care!
Try a coconut oil rinse (“pulling”). We know, folks are claiming that coconut oil is good for everything these days. But there are some studies supporting the idea that certain oils can help pull bacteria off of the surfaces of teeth. So try swishing around a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth for ten minutes while you do another activity.
Ask to see the dentist at times that work for you. Many of us skip seeing the dentist because we have full-time jobs. But did you know that many dentists offices offer appointments in the early morning, after hours, and/or on weekends? So go ahead and ask about scheduling an appointment that better fits your busy schedule. (And if you have family, schedule everyone for the same day to make the most efficient use of your time.)
(You can find more little-known dental health tips here.)
If you have questions about these or other dental hygiene facts or tips, contact us.