Improve Your Oral Health This Year with These Resolutions
You might not be a fan of making New Year’s resolutions, but if you want a brighter smile and better oral health in 2020, we have 10 tips that are worth committing to in the next 12 months.
1. Switch to a white-teeth diet.
A good rule to follow is if the food you are consuming is dark in color, then your goal of whiter teeth will suffer. Cigarettes and cigars are also culprits in staining teeth. If you can’t give up those dark foods and beverages, you can reduce their impact by brushing immediately after eating or drinking them. Also, consider an apple as a quick and convenient tooth cleaner. You can also try a tooth whitening program – either from the store or from your dentist’s office (which is the better choice since the results are superior).
2. Toss your toothbrush
Your toothbrush is a great collector of bacteria, so be sure to change it every 2-3 months. If you use an electric toothbrush, change the head on the same schedule.
3. Use the right angle
Your twice-a-day brushing routine will be much more effective if you hold your toothbrush at 45-degree-angle and gently move it in a circular motion against your gums. Avoid using a back-and-forth motion.
4. Scrape your tongue
Remove plaque on your tongue and freshen your breath by using a tongue scraper in the morning. Bacteria is a major culprit of foul breath, so using a tongue scraper will help you reduce or eliminate that problem. You can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue, but it isn’t as effective as a tongue scraper (which are available at most drug stores).
5. Use foods to help clean your mouth
Crisp and firm foods are wonderful natural teeth and gum cleaners. Apples, celery, raw carrots, and popcorn are super ways to clean your teeth. Try to eat them last, especially if you know you won’t be able to brush right after your meal.
6. Try apple cider vinegar to gargle with
Start your morning oral health routine by gargling with apple cider vinegar. Brush after you gargle. The apple cider vinegar is effective at killing bacteria and removing stains from your teeth.
7. Use baking soda weekly
A good way to remove stains on your teeth is to brush with baking soda once a week. Use it in place of toothpaste.
8. Keep your breath fresh the right way
If you use mouthwash to freshen your breath, make sure it’s alcohol free. Alcohol dries out the tissues in your mouth, which gives bacteria a better opportunity to damage your teeth. Wondering if your breath smells bad? Lick your palm and smell it to tell. It’s an effective (and a bit unusual) way to check. Just be sure to wash your hand afterwards!
9. Close your eyes…and floss
You know your flossing technique is good if you can floss effectively without looking in a mirror. That can be important to master because it will allow you to floss just about anywhere – your car (not while you’re driving, though), at the office, or sitting watching your favorite TV show.
10. Develop an in-and-out of bed ritual
Be sure to brush when you first get up and just before you go to bed. That’s because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath!) that may have built up as you slept.
SOURCE: WebMD and Stealth Health/Reader’s Digest