9 Dental Tricks and Tips to Try at Home
Oral hygiene isn’t just important for fresh breath, white teeth, and healthy gums.
Bad oral hygiene can cause periodontal disease, which can lead to and exacerbate other health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, you can suffer from a whole host of other issues!
And going to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings isn’t enough. You have to practice good oral hygiene every day to prevent cavities, preserve your teeth, and minimize your risk of gum disease.
Ready to make your teeth and gums as healthy as can be? Here are nine dental tricks and tips to try at home.
Brush in Circles
We all know that brushing twice a day is key in maintaining good oral hygiene. But are you brushing the right way?
Experts recommend that you hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in small, slow circles. Those rapid up-and-down or side-to-side motions with your toothbrush just won’t cut it.
Brushing in circles is much more effective, which is why most professional electric toothbrushes have round brush heads.
It’s also important to brush the back, front, and all sides of your teeth. The more thorough a job you do, the better your teeth will look and the healthier your gums will be.
Drink More Water
Water is necessary to keep the body and skin hydrated and functioning properly, but it has an added benefit for your teeth:
Bacteria forms easily in the mouth and can lead to serious conditions, such as gum disease and tooth decay. The simple act of drinking water can help to flush bacteria and food particles away from the teeth and gums.
Leaving food and bacteria on the teeth can lead to plaque, which can lead to all sorts of dental health conditions.
Cut Back on Your Sugar Intake
It’s long been thought that eating sugary foods causes cavities. But it’s a bit more complicated than you may think …
Sugary foods feed bad bacteria, and bad bacteria produce acids. The more sugar you eat, the more acidic the plaque that forms on your teeth becomes. It’s those acids that eat away at your teeth, cause cavities, and weaken enamel.
The simplest and easiest thing you can do to improve your oral hygiene is to cut back on sugary foods (and eat healthy ones when you have a sweet tooth).
Rinse With Warm, Salty Water
If you’ve ever experienced a painful cut or sore in your mouth, you know just how unpleasant a feeling that can be.
But you can heal cuts and sores inside the mouth by doing one simple thing:
Rinsing with warm, salty water.
Just pour a cup of warm water, add in a half-teaspoon of salt, and swish some around in your mouth for about ten seconds. Spit it out and repeat until the cup is empty.
Doing this three or four times a day will speed up the healing process of cuts and sores and make your mouth feel better again!
Floss at Least Once a Day
At minimum, you should floss once a day. But it’s even more effective if you get in the habit of flossing after every meal.
Dental floss and floss picks are perfect for getting into small, tight spaces between teeth. If you have large gaps in your teeth, you can even try flossing with a piece of yarn.
If you’re ready to take your floss game to the next level, invest in a water flosser. Water flossers can blast all sorts of food particles and gunk from around and between your teeth.
Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
Bacteria can build on any surface, including your toothbrush. And there’s no point in brushing your teeth if you’re doing so with a dirty brush.
You should replace your toothbrush or electric brush head at least once every three months. Just keep a few extras on hand and put a reminder in your phone so you know when it’s time to toss your old brush and break out a new one.
Wear Darker/Brighter Lipstick
If it’s whiter, brighter teeth you’re looking for, there’s a simple trick that doesn’t require you to put any chemicals or whitening agents in your mouth:
Just wear darker or brighter lipstick!
The darker the skin and lips around your teeth, the more contrast they’ll provide against your smile, and the whiter your teeth will look. So put those pale pink and nude lipsticks aside and opt for a darker or brighter color with more pigment and intensity.
Always be careful about the chemicals you put on your teeth. Those DIY whitening treatments aren’t that effective, and they can do more harm than good.
Choose a Mouthwash Based on Your Oral Care Needs
Mouthwash is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but there are many different types that do many different things.
When choosing a mouthwash, buy one that addresses your main concern.
For example, a mouthwash with fluoride can help strengthen enamel. A remineralizing mouthwash can help protect against plaque. A mouthwash designed to fight gingivitis can reduce inflammation and prevent gum disease.
Using a mouthwash for your specific needs is a great way to improve your dental routine!
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Are you a lifelong gum chewer? If so, make the switch to sugar-free gum now.
Chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, and saliva helps to neutralize the acids that lead to tooth decay. But gum with sugar actually adds acids to the plaque on your teeth, which will only make you more prone to cavities and tooth decay.
If you like to chew gum, make sure it’s sugar-free.
There are lots of little things you can do at home every day to improve your dental hygiene. But no matter how diligent you are day to day, it’s still important to see your dentist on a regular basis.
Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are still the best way to keep your smile white and your mouth healthy.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with The Lofts at Brentwood to help them with their online marketing.