October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and we’re looking at a few little changes you can make that will improve your dental health without interfering with your usual routine.
- Switch Your Snacks. Sugary or starchy snacks don’t do your teeth any good. You’ve probably heard by now﹘ sugar is not good for your teeth. Sweets, like chewy candies or cookies, give the bacteria in your mouth an epic meal to feast on. An excess of bad bacteria in the mouth causes gum disease and a domino effect of other issues over time.
Starchy snacks like potato chips breakdown and clump near the gum line. This has the same effect as sugary snacks, and bacteria love it! Try switching these snacks out for fruits and veggies that clean your teeth with every crunch. A few mouth-healthy foods are apples, carrots, pineapple, and celery.
- Cut Out Soda. Sipping on a soda (even if it’s a diet soda) is horrible for your teeth. When you drink soda, you are essentially bathing your teeth with acid. This eats away at your enamel and opens up small pores in your teeth. Once bacteria settle into these holes, they eat away at the inside of your teeth, and that’s how cavities come to be.
Instead of keeping a soda at your desk all day, replace it with a glass of water. Water helps to rinse harmful acid and bacteria off of teeth. If you can’t live without your soda, try to stick to one per day at the most. Rinse it down with a glass of water, and about thirty minutes after finishing your beverage, brush your teeth. This will help keep the bacteria at bay.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum. Chewing gum is a great way to clean your teeth throughout the day. Sugar-free gums help get food particles and bacteria off your teeth without coating it in sugar or getting stuck between your teeth like candy. Whenever you finish a meal or snack, chew a piece of sugar-free gum to freshen your breath and keep your mouth clean all day long.
- Don’t Forget Your Tongue. Here’s an additional good habit that takes almost no time at all and can be done during your regular brushing routine. Many people are diligent about flossing and brushing their teeth but still forget to clean their tongue!
Your tongue is covered in bacteria, and if you neglect to brush it, the bacteria can go from your tongue straight on to your freshly cleaned teeth. This small extra step can keep your mouth cleaner, fresher, and healthier for longer!
- Switch to an Electric Toothbrush. Sure, traditional toothbrushes seem to do the trick, but an electric toothbrush can take your dental hygiene to the next level. The oscillating movements give you a deeper clean than you can achieve with manual brushing alone.
It also takes the thought out of brushing. With an electric toothbrush, you just gently touch the brush head to your teeth and slowly move it from tooth to tooth until all the surfaces have been reached. It does all the work for you!