You probably already know that dentists recommend brushing twice a day and flossing daily. That’s accurate – but it’s also the bare minimum. If you’re eager to amp up your oral hygiene, try these five tips on for size:
Electric toothbrushes are far more powerful than an old-school manual brush. They’re carefully designed to remove plaque and calcium build up in your mouth – plus they usually come with a built-in two minute timer to ensure you’re brushing long enough.
It’s not enough just to floss daily. To really improve your dental hygiene, you’ll want to use a C-shape when flossing. This technique allows you to target the especially hard to reach spaces between teeth and below the gumline.
To master this style of flossing, grab about 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers. Hold the floss taut between your thumb and pointer fingers, curving it into a C-shape as you insert between your teeth. Rub the floss gently up and down without jerking or snapping. Don’t forget to floss the backside of your molars!
Brush Your Tongue
Bacteria love the human mouth. It’s dark, warm, and moist – and frequently filled with leftover crumbs of food to feed upon. The bacteria living on your tongue can cause serious bad breath, but that’s not the only reason to brush your tongue. You’ll also be preventing additional plaque buildup. Go easy on yourself and gently brush the surface. When you’ve mastered the basics, consider upgrading to a tongue scraping tool.
Drink More Tap Water
A glass of water is a powerful thing. Have a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning and after each meal. It helps counteract plaque buildup and acidic residue by essentially washing away bacteria. The added fluoride in tap water makes the process even more effective!
Get More Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps keep gums and teeth strong. Get more of it by spending time outside in the sun or by taking a daily supplement. You can also get more vitamin D by adding fatty fish, eggs, and butter to your diet. Vitamin D supplementation has been linked with a lowered risk of gum disease, so be sure not to skip this important tip!