We all know good oral hygiene is crucial for keeping your pearly whites white, but it will also keep your breath fresh and improve your overall health “ one study even found a connection between gum disease and increased cancer risk.
And there’s more to it than brushing twice a day.
Follow these tips to keep your mouth in shape.
For Fresh Breath…
¢ Drink up. Water helps to cleanse bacteria from the mouth.
¢ Pass up after-dinner mints “ the sugar will eventually lead to more stinky (and cavity-causing) plaque. Instead, pop a piece of sugar-free gum to increase saliva production and remove bacteria from your teeth.
¢ Tongues harbour tons of odour-causing bacteria. Look for a tongue scraper or a toothbrush with a tongue scraper on the back.
¢ Smoking doesn’t help. Kick that smelly habit.
For Healthy Gums…
¢ We’ve all had a well-meaning dental hygienist chide us over this one “ flossing daily is really, really important. It’s the only way to remove plaque from in between your teeth and rid your mouth of the bacteria that causes gingivitis. If your gums bleed when you floss, it’s a sign that the tissues in your mouth are already fighting an infection with an inflammation response.
¢ Keep on guzzling that green tea “ it may help to heal bleeding gums.
¢ If you needed another reason “ smoking is a major cause of gum and throat cancer.
For White Teeth…
¢ The worst stain-causing foods are red wine, soy sauce, coffee, dark soda, blueberries, and cranberry juice. If you do enjoy any of these, follow up with some water to help rinse your mouth out.
¢ Load up on natural stain-removing foods such as carrots, apples, and celery.
¢ Did we mention smoking?
For Strong Teeth…
¢ Certain acidic foods and drinks wear away your enamel, so either lay off them (if they’re also unhealthy) or eat them at mealtime to help neutralize the acid. Common culprits include white wine, carbonated drinks (and that includes diet versions!), and fresh fruit.
¢ Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating something acidic. When your enamel is weakened, brushing could wear it down faster.
¢ Cheese is a wonder food for dental health. It neutralizes acid in your saliva and helps fight plaque, plus it’s loaded with calcium and can help to strengthen your tooth enamel. So it’s perfect to pair with more acidic foods, such as fruit and white wine. Did we mention it’s delicious?
¢ Yup. Smoking also contributes to tooth decay.
If you’re doing all of this and something’s still not quite right (whether it’s persistent bad breath or a sore in your mouth that you’re not quite sure about), see a dentist. They’re trained to recognize the signs if there’s anything more serious going on.