Brush and floss twice a day and rinse with a mouthwash. That’s all there is to great oral care habits, right? To keep your teeth and gums healthy, there are many steps you can take to reduce bacteria in the mouth and help prevent problems like cavities and gum disease. Improve your oral health with a few easy tips.
1. Brush your tongue
Your tongue is prime real estate for mouth bacteria. To help reduce the presence of these microbes and to protect your teeth and gums, be sure to brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Use a toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Keeping your tongue clean can also help prevent bad breath.
2. Use baking soda to whiten
Baking soda can help to scrub away coffee and tea stains and to make your teeth look a little whiter. Try a baking soda toothpaste or mix a little baking soda with your normal toothpaste for a stain removing treatment.
3. Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash
For years there has been some concern that a high alcohol content in mouthwash may be a risk factor for oral cancer. The International Oral Cancer Association warns that there have been some studies that have shown an increased risk of oral cancer, while many other studies have been inconclusive. To be safe, talk to your dentist about using an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash to keep your mouth fresh and clean.
4. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
To support healthy teeth and gums, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for beneficial nutrients and to lower bacteria levels in the mouth. Eating an apple stimulates the flow of saliva and helps to clean the mouth. Crunchy veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots stimulate gums and saliva flow. Green leafy vegetables are a great source of calcium, an important nutrient for strong teeth.
5. Cut your sugar intake
One of the most important oral care steps that you can take to protect your teeth is to avoid sugary foods like soda and candy. According to the American Dental Association, high sugar consumption is known to promote tooth decay. Choose healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and nuts for oral care.
6. Drink green tea
Instead of sipping on soda, drink green tea! The Archives of Oral Biology lists the potential benefits of green tea for oral health. Compounds in the tea may offer some protection against bacteria, inflammation, and bad breath.
7. Visit your dentist
To complete your healthy oral care regimen, visit your dentist for regular checkups. Your hygienist and dentist can remove plaque buildup and keep your mouth in optimal condition. Routine visits are an integral part of preventative care. See your dentist to check for signs of serious health problems like gum disease and oral cancer, which are highly treatable when addressed early on.
Start with the basics: brushing, flossing, and rinsing every day. Great oral care doesn’t end there. Eat a healthy diet for your mouth. Do what you can to reduce bacteria and see your dentist every six months.