What To Use and Not Use On Your Teeth
Toothpicks? If you don’t have floss, a toothpick will work to remove food stuck between teeth, but be gentle. It’s easy to press too hard and damage your gums. Floss helps remove food from between teeth better than a toothpick and fights plaque buildup by getting rid of bacteria that form there. Regularly using a toothpick to remove food trapped in a single area may indicate a bigger problem that requires our attention.
Cheese for White Teeth! The casein and whey protein in cheese can help keep your tooth enamel in top form by reducing demineralization. A bonus: Cheese also has vital, tooth-building calcium. Don’t forget to include vitamin D in your diet, which helps your body absorb calcium. A few vitamin D-rich foods include milk, egg yolks, and fish.
Stop Stains With Baking Soda. To work on food and drink stains try brushing baking soda on your teeth twice a month, just like you would toothpaste, then rinse away to help brighten your smile. If plain baking soda irritates your teeth or gums, you may want to try a toothpaste that contains baking soda or avoid it completely.
Regulate Acid Reflux. Acid reflux can be very harmful to the enamel on the teeth and you oral health. Common foods and drinks that trigger reflux include chocolate; alcohol; caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee, and tea; garlic and onions; dairy; tomatoes; citrus fruits; mint; and spicy, fatty, or fried foods.
Floss First or Brush First? Some experts say that the order in which floss and brush doesn’t matter. Others point out, though, that flossing first makes brushing your teeth more effective by removing food that gets trapped between teeth. If handling floss flusters you, look for floss holders. When it’s time to brush, angle bristles 45-degree at the gum line, then brush gently, moving the brush back and forth. Then, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to help get rid of any leftover plaque.
Replace Your Toothbrush. Toothbrush bristles fray, flatten, and wear over time. To help keep your smile bright, replace your manual toothbrush every three or four months; for electric toothbrush heads, follow the manufacturer’s advice. Always change a toothbrush after an illness.
Foods Can Stain or Brighten Teeth. It’s best to brush thoroughly after eating teeth-staining food like blueberries, coffee, and cigarettes. To help minimize discoloration, brush, then munch on apples, pears, carrots, or celery, all of which trigger tooth-bathing saliva, which helps keep your teeth bright.
Take Care of Your Tongue. Take time to brush or scrape your tongue each time you brush. Your tongue plays host to the bacteria that help cause bad breath, so giving it a scrub, or using a tongue scraper daily, can help reduce odor-causing compounds.
Medication Can Cause Dry Mouth. Hundreds of medications, like antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, and antihistamines, can dry up saliva. Medication is the most common cause of dry mouth. To help keep your mouth moist, increase your fluid intake, or chew sugarless gum after a meal.