You may have integrated brushing and flossing regularly into your oral hygiene routine, and perhaps you see your dentist the recommended twice per year. But did you know there are other easy tips to keep your teeth and mouth healthy? Here are a few.
5 Dentist-Recommended Habits for Cleaner Teeth
1. Drink More Water
Drinking plenty of water contributes to better overall health for skin, kidneys, and other body systems, including the mouth. Water keeps the acid level in the mouth down, stimulates saliva production, and washes away food debris and bacteria. Drink water after eating anything, especially if you can’t brush for several hours.
2. Eat Crunchy Fruits & Veggies
Crisp and crunchy foods such as carrots, celery, or apples, actually have a scrubbing effect on the surface of the teeth and help to clear away bacteria. These foods also stimulate saliva, which is necessary to wash bacteria away from teeth as well as food particles. While no substitute for brushing, crunchy whole fruits and veggies are great with a glass of water to clean up after a meal if you can’t brush.
3. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash does more than keep your breath fresh. It helps to reduce acid levels in the mouth and many are formulated to help with dry mouth or the growth of bacteria. Rinses with fluoride can help re-mineralize the teeth. Mouthwash may be a good option for kids or seniors—or those who have a hard time with thorough brushing. Ask your dentist for recommendations.
4. Consider Alternative Flossers
If you or a family member do have difficulty flossing, don’t give up. Products such as floss sticks and oral irrigators such as a Waterpik™ can make flossing easier. Flossing is as important as brushing, as it cleans up to 40% of the tooth’s surface that a brush can’t reach.
5. Don’t Forget Your Tongue
Plaque and bacteria can build up on the tongue, causing bad breath and the persistence of bacteria in the mouth. Gently clean your tongue every time you brush. If you regularly have a thick tongue coating, consider a tongue scraper, which is a tool made specifically to remove buildup.
The dentists at Four Corners Dental Group are committed to preventive dental care for the entire family. They offer cosmetic dentistry, including Invisalign®, veneers, and teeth whitening as well as restorative dentistry such as crowns, bridges, and root canals. Known for gentle, compassionate care and state-of-the-art facilities, Four Corners Dental Group are your dental solutions specialists. Call (907) 258-3384 in Anchorage or (907) 376-2790 in Wasilla, AK, for an appointment. Visit their website to see a full range of their services.