You might think you already know everything there is to know about keeping your mouth fresh and your smile white. Just brush twice a day, follow it up with some mouthwash, and floss every now and then. Right? Wrong. There is actually so much more you can be doing to promote a healthier gums, stronger teeth, and a whiter smile.
According to a top-rated family dentist in Clinton, Maryland, these are a few steps you should be taking on the path to better oral health – and a whiter than white smile.
One of the best things you can do for your mouth is to stay hydrated. You should be doing this anyway, but drinking lots of water throughout the day has been proven to improve oral health. Here’s how. Saliva is actually a great thing for the mouth, and when you fail to drink enough water, you body won’t produce the saliva it needs. Drinking too much alcohol and coffee can also suppress saliva production.
Eat Crunchy Foods
This goes along with what was just said about saliva. Your mouth needs it for the healthy minerals that it contains, like fluoride and calcium. These minerals help to destroy bacteria in the mouth and restore tooth enamel. Eating crunchy foods like celery and carrots has been proven to boost saliva production.
Substitute the Bad for the Good
We all know that processed sugars aren’t great for teeth. Chances are you’ve already been told by your dentist to avoid candy and sweets whenever you can. That doesn’t mean you have to cut out all sugars though. When you get a hankering for something sweet, try to eat healthy sugars, like fruit. Instead of whipping out the candy bar, go for something more substantial, such as strawberries mixed with coconut milk and chia seeds.
Switch Out Your Toothbrush
It’s not a good sign if you don’t remember the last time you switched your toothbrush. If you’re reading this and that applies to you, go to your bathroom right now and throw that old brush in the garbage. Dentists say that you should invest in a new toothbrush every 3 months or so. Bacteria builds up on the bristles, and when you keep a toothbrush for too long you’re basically just brushing your mouth with germs.
Don’t Ignore the Tongue
This statement especially applies if you suffer from bad breath. Bad breath is generally caused by bacteria that has settled on the tongue at the back of the mouth. Even food debris can become stuck on the tongue, so try and use a tongue scraper every once in a while to remove bacteria and stuck-on food.
This has been mentioned briefly, but eating healthy is one of the best ways to improve your oral health. The foods and beverages you consume affect the strength of your teeth and gums more than you could ever know. Try to incorporate more leafy greens, healthy fats, and whole foods into your diet. Basically, cut out the junk and processed foods.