We tend to take our teeth for granted treating them like an afterthought sometimes when it comes to taking care of them. Maybe you do brush everyday but according to dentists nationwide even if you brush your teeth regularly there are still other things you can do to keep your teeth healthy and your smile white.  Here are a few to incorporate into your dental health routine.

Don’t forget the Tongue

People frequently wonder how they can get a cavity if they have dutifully brushed their teeth without fail. All of those nasty cavity causing bacteria and germs aren’t just on your teeth. They also cover your tongue which often is neglected during routine dental care. After brushing your teeth gently brush your tongue starting in the back and bringing a tongue scraper or toothbrush forward to the tip of the tongue. Do this several times after each tooth brushing session.

Scrubbing Foods

Did you know you can clean your mouth while you are eating?  Certain foods are known as nature’s toothbrush. The most well-known of these are apples. But a few not more frequently recognized are raw carrots, popcorn, even celery.  These don’t replace brushing your teeth of course but if you are out where you can’t brush until you get home, eating these will help. Just be sure you eat them at the end of the meal, otherwise they lose any value in “scrubbing” if eaten before other foods.

Gargling

Gargling is a great way to keep your mouth fresh and feeling clean.  There are numerous varieties of mouthwash available for adults and children. Most are flavored and some brands leave a light tingling in your mouth. Children’s mouthwash can even come in bubblegum flavors. Children should avoid actual gargling when very young but should be encouraged to swish and then empty their mouth without swallowing. Adults can gargle briefly before spitting the mouthwash out. If you would prefer to use a more natural liquid to gargle try apple vinegar once a day, usually in the morning. The apple vinegar kills bacteria and whitens your teeth as well.

Mouth Massage

Almost everyone enjoys a good massage to keep their blood circulating and their body feeling healthier.  It encourages blood flow through extremities and muscles and even the skin. How about massaging your gums? The gums reap all the same benefits of a massage that any other part of the body does. Use your finger to gently rub your gums especially where the gum line meets the teeth. This helps your teeth and the pulp of the tooth to get a better blood supply. The pulp is the inside of your tooth and is rich with small veins and tissue which need circulating blood to stay healthy.

Super Floss

Become a flossing superstar by keeping packets of floss in your purse, your car or desk. You don’t really need to be in front of a mirror to floss your teeth. Food and germs between teeth often start decay in between. These cavities stay hidden until wham you start feeling pain. Flossing assists in preventing this and you can quickly floss after a meal in your car or somewhere else private.

Kick the Habit

If you smoke or drink tea and coffee your teeth become stained with unsightly brown stains. You may not notice it day to say but over time these habits will undoubtedly ruin your white teeth no matter how much you try to brush the stain away. Even having teeth professionally cleaned does not remove all of the discoloring caused by these things. Kick the habit or at least cut way back. Not only will your teeth thank you the rest of your health will too.

Keeping your teeth healthy and strong is important as you will need them as long as you live. Your natural teeth aide in digestion, improve your appearance as well as help support your face along with facial bones and muscles. Taking care of them in all ways should always be a priority.


About Author

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger on health-related topics. She is currently writing on behalf of a Houston dentist.

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