These nine dental hygiene hacks are quick and easy ways to look after your oral health and prevent germs from building up and wreaking havoc.
Dental hygiene isn’t something to take lightly. Your oral health is connected to your overall health in a multitude of ways, so you want to make sure you’re treating your chompers right!
Guess what — there are ways you can keep your teeth clean and healthy in between visits to the dentist.
These nine dental hygiene hacks are quick and easy ways to look after your oral health and prevent germs from building up and wreaking havoc. That’s really something you can smile about.
1. Clean Your Tongue
Bacteria can and will accumulate on your tongue and contribute to bad breath and other troubles, such as cavities and sores.
You can’t just stand by and let those little stinkers stick around!
Use your toothbrush to clean your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Or, invest in a tongue scraper to really get the job done right. They’re inexpensive and work the best for keeping your tongue squeaky clean.
2. Eat Teeth-Cleaning Foods
Some foods, called detergent foods, actually clean your teeth while you eat.
That’s because these foods are crisp and act like scrubbers, as opposed to sticky foods that adhere to your teeth. Not to mention, these foods are usually full of vitamin C and antioxidants that keep teeth healthy and strong.
Detergent foods usually include raw fruits and veggies like carrots, celery, apples, and even popcorn!
3. Rinse After Eating
Rinse your mouth with water after you eat food or drink something that contains sugar. It helps keep bacteria growth at bay even when you spend the night indulging your sweet tooth.
The best technique is to eat no junk food at all (and to find some healthy alternatives), but even a sweet tooth needs proper cleaning.
Take a few drinks and swish the water around to get rid of food particles and acids immediately after eating.
This trick is enough to keep your teeth healthy and clean until you’re ready to brush.
4. Ditch Your Whitening Toothpaste
While whitening toothpaste might whiten your teeth, it does in the wrong way. Instead of bleaching your teeth, whitening toothpaste scrubs away stains. It doesn’t stop at the stains, though, and can take some of your enamel off.
You need your enamel to keep your teeth strong and safe. Scrubbing it away will only lead to long-term problems worse than a little bit of yellowing.
Opt for another whitening option instead to protect your teeth. Or, get them professionally whitened by someone who knows what they’re doing.
5. Gargle Some Apple Cider Vinegar
The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are vast. Every list of healthy foods and products is likely to have apple cider vinegar somewhere on it.
Using apple cider vinegar as mouthwash may kill bacteria in your mouth and remove stains from your teeth.
Just make sure to dilute it in water to soften the acidity and protect your mouth. We don’t want you burning yourself!
6. …or Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is effective at killing bacteria and whitening teeth, making it a two-for-one mouthwash alternative.
Mix some 3% hydrogen peroxide with twice as much water to dilute it. And don’t gargle for more than a minute. While it’s healthy for your teeth, the same can’t be said if you let it sit in your mouth for a long period of time.
And whatever you do, never ever ingest your hydrogen peroxide mouthwash!
7. Divide and Conquer Your Flossing
Flossing takes time that you don’t always have. That means you might be skipping it some days just for the sake of saving a few minutes.
Stop that right now and listen up!
You only need to floss your teeth once a day. That means you can split the duties between your morning brushing and your night brushing. Floss your top teeth in the morning and your bottom teeth at night or vice-versa.
There you go! An easy way to save some time and still get your teeth flossed.
8. Wait to Brush After Drinking Soda
Cutting down on soda altogether is a great way to keep your teeth healthy, but we understand the appeal. Just like it can damage your teeth, so can brushing too soon after you drink it.
Right after you drink something as acidic as soda, the protective enamel on your teeth is more likely to get scrubbed off. It’s softer than usual and needs some time to recover from the acid!
Wait at least 30 minutes after drinking soda before you brush your teeth to give the pH levels in your mouth time to settle. Your teeth will thank you for it.
9. Choose the Right Lipstick Shade
Believe it or not, some lipsticks make your teeth appear whiter while others make them appear more yellow. That’s why it’s essential for you to pick the perfect shade to automatically brighten your smile.
No expensive treatments required!
Go for reds, pinks, and berries with blue or cool undertones to keep your teeth looking white. Stay away from oranges, browns, and neons as these bring out the yellows and browns in your teeth.
It’s as simple as that!
Regular dental check-ups that include cleanings and fillings for any cavities are the best way to keep your teeth strong and healthy. When one part of your body is out of whack, your entire system feels the effects.
While you can’t do the work of a dentist from home, you can keep your teeth white and shiny with a little bit of effort.
So, put your dental hygiene first with these nine hacks to keep you on track between cleanings. By looking after your teeth, you’ll have a smile to be proud of!
Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Prose West Cypress, a new apartment community in Katy, TX.
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