Taking good care of your teeth is important for especially if you’re trying to avoid tooth pain and the resultant high dentist fees. Great teeth care also means a winning smile and fresh breath, all very desirable if you’re going to spend any time in the company of other people. Great teeth is a product of healthy eating, developing good oral hygiene habits and the occasional visit to a dentist should the need arise.
- Brush twice a day– in the morning and the evening for at least two minutes, making sure to reach all areas including your back teeth and your tongue. Wait at least a half hour after meals to brush because right after a meal your mouth is more acidic which makes the enamel temporarily softer. It is recommended that you do not brush more than three times a day especially if you’re using fluoride-based toothpaste.
2. Floss at least once a day. Flossing removes food particles, plaque and bacteria that build up between your teeth. It’s best to floss before you brush.
3. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and change it at least every three months or when the bristles get bent because then they don’t clean as well. If you use an electric toothbrush, replace the head every three months.
4. You can opt to use mouthwash. Mouthwash can kill bacteria and also help manage bad breath. If you’re not willing to splurge on mouthwash, you can make your own and all you need is salt and warm water. Dissolve about half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and use that as a mouthwash.
5. If you’re feeling adventurous you could also try oil pulling, which is an ancient Ayurvedic practice of swishing the mouth with unrefined oil like coconut oil for about 20 minutes. This method of cleaning whitens teeth, lessens sensitivity, alleviates bad breath and reduces the mouth’s bacterial content. Just remember to spit the oil into the garbage and not down your sink to avoid clogging your sink’s drain and incurring plumbing costs. Aloe vera gel is also reputed to be healthy for the gums and may be applied in small quantities if you have inflammation.
6. Quit smoking. Smoking leads to staining and discolouration. It also increases your risk of mouth cancers, gum disease and it gives you bad breath. It can also decrease saliva flow, which allows bacteria to thrive in your mouth.
There are many homemade options for whitening your teeth including baking soda, coconut oil, orange peel and lemon juice. Take your pick.
7. Mix one pinch of baking soda in your toothpaste and brush with it once a week.
8. Rub an orange peel on your teeth every day.
9. Oil pulling with coconut oil. The lauric acid present in the oil helps in getting rid of the bacteria that is responsible for the yellowing and discolouration. Directly apply coconut oil on your teeth then brush or swish a teaspoon of coconut oil for 15 minutes, spit it out and brush.
10. Make a paste out of a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of salt. Apply this yellowish tint then brush.
Diet for good teeth
11. Drink a lot of water. Water helps wash away food and bacteria left in and around the mouth. It also neutralizes acidity that can erode the tooth enamel and weaken the teeth. A good habit to add to your post-meals routine is to rinse your mouth or gargle water so that you can get all of those leftover bits and pieces out of your mouth and also speed up the remineralization process of the teeth.
12. Limit your sugar consumption. As sugar is broken down by your saliva and the bacteria in your mouth, it generates acids. These acids dissolve the enamel on your teeth. Eat fewer sticky foods. These foods leave a thin layer of sugar on your teeth which is difficult to remove and increases your risk of tooth decay. Sticky foods can also ruin previous dental work such as one of your crowns getting pulled off. Sugar-free gum is excellent for stimulating saliva production and helping remove the last bits of food stuck between your teeth. Other snacks that can help with cleaning are apples, broccoli, carrots, celery, peppers, lettuce and cucumbers.
13. Reduce the amount of alcohol you take because alcohol increases your vulnerability to tooth decay by degrading your enamel.
14. Avoid clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding can result in attrition, a kind of wear caused by teeth-to-teeth contact. Attrition exposes the dentin leading to increased tooth sensitivity.
15. Don’t bite or chew non-food objects, this could lead to tooth wear and enamel loss.
Bonus: Visit a dentist at least once a year, twice if you can, just to get some professional cleaning and a general check-up.