You know you need to brush your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist twice a year if you want a healthy smile. Taking care of your teeth and your mouth undoubtedly includes these tips, but don’t think that’s all it takes to keep your smile healthy, bright, and beautiful. There are some other tips you may not know about that can help you maintain a healthy smile too.

Know the Right Way to Brush and Floss

You know you need to brush and you know you need to floss, but knowing the right way to do those things is just as important as doing them at all.

It’s true that electric toothbrushes have more cleaning power than traditional toothbrushes, but the technique you use to brush your teeth is more important than the kind of toothbrush you use.

Don’t rush brushing your teeth. Use gentle, circular motions to remove plaque from the tooth surface, and reach as far back into your mouth as you can to scrub those molars.

Finding floss that works for you is important too. Choose between floss picks or traditional floss, then make sure you floss at least once a day.

Brush Your Tongue

Most people brush their teeth and call it a day. Although it’s true that your teeth are what everyone else sees, and they are what’s likely to cause the biggest problems in your mouth as you age, you can’t neglect your tongue.

Everyone needs to clean their tongue because plaque can build up there too. Not only can that plaque end up on your teeth, but it can also cause your breath to smell bad.

What’s the best way to clean your tongue? Although a toothbrush can work, a tongue scraper is the best way to keep your tongue clean.

Brush Your Gums

Not only do people skip cleaning their tongue, but they also avoid brushing their gums and focus all their attention on their teeth. That’s a big mistake.

Gum disease is a fairly common problem. It can have multiple causes, but gums often start to become inflamed because tartar and plaque have not been cleared away from the gum line.

Avoid brushing all of your gums, which can irritate them, and instead focus your attention on your gum line. Brush at an angle and use circular motions to get a millimeter or two under the gum line to knock any plaque or tartar build-up loose.

Drink More Water

There are a lot of benefits of drinking water and a lot of reasons why you should drink more of it. One of the most surprising is the fact that drinking more water can keep your teeth cleaner and your mouth healthier.

After a meal, make it a habit to drink some water. It can wash away sticky, acidic foods and drinks. It’s an especially good tip after lunch and dinner when you can’t brush and floss your teeth right after you’re done eating.

It’s even better if you make water your primary beverage. Carry around a water bottle so you can drink water throughout the day. If you do decide to treat yourself to coffee, pop, or wine, drink a glass of water after you’re done to rinse out your mouth.

Eat the Right Foods

You probably grew up with adults telling you that all those sugary treats and drinks are going to rot your teeth. Did you know that what you eat can also have a positive effect on your dental health?

If you eat more of the right kinds of foods, not only will your overall health improve, your dental health could improve too.

A few foods that are good for your teeth include:

  • Apples have a fibrous texture which can stimulate the gums.
  • Carrots are full of fiber and can increase saliva production in your mouth.
  • Celery is full of water and can boost gum health with vitamins A and C.
  • Almonds are a good source of calcium and protein, and they are low in sugar.

There are some surprising foods that are healthy for your mouth too! For example, cheese raises the pH in your mouth, lowering the risk of tooth decay. Yogurt is good for your teeth because the probiotics crowd out the bad bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities.

Make sure you brush and visit the dentist regularly, but don’t leave your dental care at that. Follow these tips and your mouth will be healthier than ever!

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Five Uncommon Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile," in Medicalopedia, January 23, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8254/five-uncommon-tips-for-maintaining-a-healthy-smile/].