Oral health is about more than just booking your regular dental appointments. The small tweaks you make to your daily routine can have a massive impact on the health of your smile and teeth.
Rinsing with water can help stem bacterial growth and remove food particles before they have a chance to harm tooth enamel. Try this hack for 2 minutes, twice a day.
1. Rinse With Water
Many people ask whether or not they should rinse their mouths after brushing. Growing up, most people are taught to rinse after brushing to wash away the foamy toothpaste and avoid swallowing any of it. However, recent studies have shown that it’s best to leave the fluoride in place for the best results.
Food particles, acidic drinks, and bacteria can wreak havoc on the enamel of your teeth and even cause cavities. If you aren’t able to brush immediately after eating or drinking, rinsing with water can help remove food debris, stem bacterial growth, and prevent stains until the next time you brush.
A few swishes of water can even neutralize the acidity in your mouth, helping keep it at a healthy level. The trick is to swish the water around in your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out. This quick and simple hack will make your mouth feel fresher, reduce bacteria, and help prevent bacterial buildup that leads to cavities.
Another tip to add to your oral hygiene arsenal is using a tongue scraper. This simple tool helps to eliminate the buildup of bacteria on the surface of your tongue which contributes to bad breath, a foul taste in the mouth, and a poor acidic balance in the mouth that causes tooth decay. A tongue scraper is also a cheap and effective alternative to whitening your teeth at home!
Lastly, you can use apple cider vinegar to freshen your breath and keep bacteria at bay. The key is to use it immediately after meals and to rinse with water afterward as this vinegar can be very acidic and harm your teeth if left undiluted.
While regular visits to a local dentist like Sea Ranch Lakes are still incredibly important, it’s also crucial that you incorporate these life hacks into your daily routine for the most effective results. These small tweaks can help you minimize your need for dental care and maintain a healthy smile throughout the years!
2. Use a Tongue Scraper
Using a tongue scraper is a simple way to help remove bacteria and food debris that can otherwise be hard to remove with normal brushing. This helps reduce bad breath and supports tooth and gum health by lowering the acidity of your mouth. A tongue scraper is a simple tool with a rough surface that you can use on the back of your tongue to gently scrape off any residue.
When you are ready to start using your tongue scraper, open your mouth as wide as is comfortable. This will make the tongue easier to reach, but do not force your mouth open as this can cause discomfort. Gently push the scraper across your tongue with short, forward strokes. A small amount of yellowish exudate may come off the tongue as you scrape but this will decrease with each use and should fade over time. Rinse your mouth and tongue scraper when finished.
Sticking with good cleaning habits is essential to a healthy smile, but sometimes it can seem like a big challenge to keep up with routines when we are busy. These life hacks from the dentist can help you stay on top of your dental health and prevent recurring cavities, gum disease and other oral conditions.
One of the best ways to avoid tooth decay is to drink beverages like coffee, tea and soda through a straw. This will minimize exposure to the acidic liquid to your teeth and prevent stains.
Adding a tongue scraper to your daily oral hygiene can also help prevent halitosis, which is caused by the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria break down proteins and release volatile sulphur compounds that can be smelled. Getting rid of this buildup by scraping your tongue can significantly reduce halitosis and leave you with fresher-smelling breath. When you first begin using a tongue scraper, it may take some time to get used to the feeling and avoid your gag reflex. If you experience this, try a wider scraper or use your fingernail to gently tap the tip of your tongue to distract yourself. Once you’re accustomed to the sensation, you can start from the back of your tongue and work your way toward the front.
3. Brush Your Tongue
The tongue is the largest organ in your mouth. It is covered in little bumps called papillae that allow food particles to get trapped, and they also attract bacteria. When bacteria accumulate on the tongue, it can lead to bad breath—even if you brush and floss regularly.
Bacteria on the tongue can also block taste buds, making food and drink less appealing. Ultimately, bacteria on the tongue can become a biofilm that will transfer to teeth and gums during chewing or talking. That is why it is important to keep the tongue clean with a toothbrush or a tongue scraper, which is made of soft, flexible plastic that gently peels off the thin mucus-based layer on the surface of the tongue.
If you choose to use a toothbrush, use one with soft bristles, and apply gentle pressure not to hurt the sensitive tongue tissue. Start at the back of your tongue, and work your way forward until you have brushed your entire tongue. Then rinse the toothbrush and your mouth with water.
A tongue scraper is a handheld tool that looks similar to dental floss. Start at the back of your tongue, then drag the scraper across the entire surface of your tongue and down to the opening of your mouth. After you have removed the bacteria from the surface of your tongue, rinse the scraper and your mouth with water.
Both methods are effective, and a study conducted in 2013 found that people who both brushed their tongues and used a tongue scraper had significantly less plaque on their teeth than those who merely brushed their tongues. If you are unsure which method is right for you, talk to your North Seattle Dentist about it.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy is vital to overall health. If you are experiencing dental problems, such as recurring bad breath or gum disease, it is best to seek out treatment as soon as possible to avoid more serious issues. The above dental hygiene hacks, along with regular visits to your dentist near you, can help prevent serious oral health concerns and give you a more beautiful smile.
4. Use Therapeutic Mouthwash
Adding mouthwash to your oral hygiene routine helps keep your teeth clean and fresh. Most people use mouthwash to freshen breath but it can also help control gingivitis, plaque, cavities, and other dental hygiene issues. Mouthwash contains chemicals that kill bacteria, which can help reduce bad breath and improve oral health. It may contain fluoride which can help prevent tooth decay, and it may also contain other ingredients such as cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorine dioxide, essential oils, and chlorhexidine to help control or reduce conditions such as gum disease, dry mouth, and bad breath. Some mouthwashes are ADA (American Dental Association) approved, which means that it has been tested to ensure it is safe and effective. Many mouthwashes can be found over the counter while others may require a prescription from your dentist.
It is important to note that mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Adding mouthwash to your dental hygiene routine is a great way to complement the work that you do while cleaning your teeth, and can make a big difference in the look and feel of your smile. However, be sure to choose a mouthwash with a low alcohol content because high levels of alcohol can cause burns in the throat and tongue, which can lead to other dental problems.
Another oral health hack is to chew sugar-free gum or eat apples or carrots. Chewing these foods stimulates saliva production and helps to remove food particles from your teeth. They also help to balance the PH of your mouth, which can reduce acid and prevent cavities.
There are so many little tricks and hacks that we can use to make our daily routines more efficient and healthy. Taking the time to implement some of these simple tricks can have a profound impact on our health, happiness, and comfort. With these hacks, regular visits to our local Sea Ranch Lakes Dentist, and a good oral hygiene regimen you can have healthy teeth that are a source of confidence.