Brush at least twice a day
. The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums.
Use fluoridated toothpaste
. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.
. Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.
Floss your teeth daily
. Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.
Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks
. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be eaten right down to the gum.
Limit sugary foods
. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.
Protect your teeth from injury
. Wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
Try to save a knocked out tooth
. If possible, hold the tooth back in place while you seek immediate dental advice. If this is not possible, wrap the tooth in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental advice immediately.
Avoid using your teeth for chewing food
. If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.
dentist for regular check ups
. You should also visit your dentist if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.
Go on a white teeth diet
. If youre quaffing red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes or cigars, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits to blame for dingy teeth include colas, gravies, and dark juices. Bottom line: If its dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain teeth and use a good bleaching agent, either over-the-counter or in the dentists offic
Chuck your toothbrush
. Or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, youre just transferring bacteria to your mouth. According to Beverly Hills dentist Harold Katz, D.D.S., the best way to brush is by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you wont scrub too hard.
Clean your tongue
. Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish. Plus, using a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush
Eat detergent foods
. Foods that are firm or crisp help clean teeth as theyre eaten. We already mentioned apples (otherwise known as natures toothbrush); other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. For best results, make detergent foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you wont be able to brush your teeth right after eating.
Gargle with apple cider vinegar
. Do this in the morning and then brush as usual. The vinegar helps help remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.
Brush with baking soda once a week
. This will remove stains and whiten your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as an alternative toothpaste. Just be sure to spit it out so it doesnt count as sodium intake! Also, if your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt every other day.
. To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while its still wet. If you smell something, its time for a sugar-free breath mint. Shopping for mouthwash? Make sure it is alcohol-free. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria.
Practice flossing with your eyes shut
. If you can floss without having to guide your work with a mirror, you can floss in your car, at your desk, while in bed, and before important meetings. In which case, buy several packages of floss and scatter them in your car, your desk, your purse, your briefcase, your nightstand.
Brush your teeth first get out of bed and before at night
. Theyre the two most crucial times, says Kathleen W. Wilson, M.D., an internist at the Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart. Thats because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so its best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. Its also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath) that may have bui
Conceal with color
. Ladies: Choose a medium coral or light red lipstick. These colors make your teeth look whiter, whereas lighter-colored lipsticks tend to bring out the yellow in teeth.
Hum while you brush
. The ideal amount of time to brush to get all the bacteria-packed plaque out is at least two minutes, researchers found. Use your watch or keep a timer in the bathroom and set it for two minutes. Or find a tune that lasts about two minutes and hum it to the end.
Grip your toothbrush like a pencil
. Does your toothbrush look as if its been used to clean the car? If so, youre probably brushing too hard. Contrary to what some scrub-happy people think, brushing with force is not the best way to remove plaque. The best way is to place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gums and gently move it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you wont scrub too hard.
Drink a cup of tea every day
. Flavonoids and other ingredients in tea seem to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, and also block production of a type of sugar that contributes to cavities. Tea also contains high amounts of fluoride.
Change your brush
. Throw away your toothbrush or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, youre just transferring bacteria to your mouth.
Alcohol free mouthwash to rinse away bacteria
. Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria. Some studies even suggest a link between mouthwashes containing alcohol and an increased risk of oral cancer. To be safe, be a teetotaller when it comes to choosing a mouthwash.
Cut back on sugar
. Even if youre an adult, avoid sugary foods. Sugar plus bacteria equals oral plaque. Plaque then leads to bleeding gums, tooth decay and cavities. Plus, the acid in refined sugars and carbonated beverages dissolves tooth enamel.
Eat tooth cleaning foods
. Foods that are firm or crisp help to clean the teeth as theyre eaten. Apples have already been mentioned; other choices include raw carrots, celery and (unsweetened) popcorn. For best results, make detergent foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you cant brush your teeth ?straight after eating.
. Drink about a glass of water for every hour that youre at work. That way, when you get home, youll have had plenty of water for the entire day. Not only does the water help to keep your digestive system healthy and hydrate your skin, but it also helps to keep your teeth white. The more water you drink, the more bacteria you flush off your teeth and out of your mouth, meaning less risk of gum disease, fewer cavities and fresher breath.
Keep teeth for eating
. Keep a bottle opener and a small pair of scissors in your bag or desk drawer. If you have the right gadgets to hand, you wont be tempted to use your teeth as tools, which can damage them. In fact, never, ever use your teeth as tools for anything except eating.
Check your breath
. To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while its still wet. If you smell something, its time for a sugar-free breath mint or to brush your teeth.
Prevent tooth fractures
. Suck dont chew very hard foodstuffs such as hard candy or ice. Chewing hard foods creates tiny fractures in the enamel of your teeth that, over the years, combine to result in major cracks.Dont miss out! Sign up for our free weekly newsletters and get nutritious recipes, healthy weight-loss tips, easy ways to stay in shape and all the health news you need, delivered straight to your inbox.