If the eyes are the window to the soul, than your mouth acts as the gateway to the body. Whether it’s the link between gum disease and diabetes or dental plaque and heart disease, numerous studies have shown that a healthy mouth leads directly to a healthier body.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to maintain and improve your oral health. Brushing and flossing daily, combined with scheduling regular checkups with a dentist, can go a long way towards ensuring your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. However, if you don’t want to just settle for good oral health, try using these 10 tips for a great looking smile.
Go on a Teeth Whitening Diet
If you’re someone who wakes up with a cup of coffee, smokes a few cigarettes throughout the day, and goes to bed after enjoying a glass or two of wine, you can expect the color of your teeth to reflect these daily habits. However, it’s not just dark liquids and smoking that can stain your teeth. Consuming carbonated sodas, berries, gravies, pasta sauce, and tea are just a few of the many items that can stain your teeth’s enamel.
As a general rule of thumb, consider any item capable of staining a white shirt as being able to do the same to your teeth. To reduce staining, you need to cut back on the number of enamel staining items you consume daily, and to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking these types of items. If you don’t have time to brush, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water or chew a stick of sugar-free gum to increase the saliva flow in your mouth, instead.
Retire Your Toothbrush
The toothbrush acts as your primary tool in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease. Unfortunately, even the best tools become worn out due to excessive use. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush once every three months or when you notice the brush’s bristles have become worn or frayed. Worn toothbrush bristles don’t possess the strength or flexibility to properly clean your teeth and can also harbor bacteria transferred from your mouth.
Scrub Your Tongue
One of the most common causes of bad breath is a buildup of bacteria on the tongue. By scrubbing your tongue after brushing your teeth, you can remove this bacteria from the mouth and improve the freshness of your breath. For a more effective cleaning, consider purchasing a tongue scraper to remove excess plaque.
Eat Foods that Clean Your Teeth
Often referred to as nature’s toothbrush, eating an apple helps to remove plaque and lingering foods particles from your mouth. An apple’s firm texture and high water concentration make it the perfect food to scrub your teeth as you eat. Raw carrots, celery, cucumbers, and even popcorn also help to clean your teeth, and make the perfect snack following a large meal.
Gargle with Apple Cider Vinegar
An ideal activity for early in the morning or right before bedtime, gargling with apple cider vinegar after brushing can help to whiten teeth, eliminate stains, and kill bacteria on your teeth and gums.
Brush with Baking Soda Once a Week
Another stain removal trick, brushing at least once a week with baking soda can help to restore some of the luster your smile has lost. Just apply the baking soda to your brush as you would toothpaste, and spend at least two minutes cleaning your teeth. However, you need to stop using baking soda to brush if your gums begin to feel tender.
Spend Enough Time Brushing
The American Dental Association recommends that you spend at least two minutes brushing during each session. However, despite this recommendation, studies have shown that the average person spends only 30 seconds brushing; meaning most people only brush for a quarter of the time they should each day. To help you brush for the right amount of time, consider installing a clock in your bathroom or in an area easily viewable from that location. When you brush, divide your mouth into four segments and spend 30 seconds brushing each one.
Practice Flossing Without a Mirror
If you can get comfortable flossing without needing to look into a mirror, you can begin to floss while in the car, at your desk, in bed, or before a big meeting. Contrary to popular perception, flossing doesn’t just remove lingering food particles that have become stuck between teeth. Flossing also removes plaque from areas your brush cannot reach, meaning the more you floss, the healthier your gums and teeth become.
Brushing in the Morning and at Night
Brushing regularly is the key to enjoying a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. However, the busy schedules many people keep today can make remembering or finding the time to brush difficult. By making brushing part of your daily morning and evening ritual, you can ensure that you always find the time, and never forget to brush.
Ladies who want their teeth to shine should consider applying a medium coral or light red colored lipstick. These types of colors make your teeth appear whiter, while lighter shades tend to highlight the stains in teeth.