Like most people, you probably brush your teeth at least once or twice a day. However, as we get older, it becomes even more important that we help our teeth fight off all the different elements they’re under attack from throughout the day. Don’t think that toothbrush of yours is going to do the job all on its own. Instead, think about the following methods for taking better care of your teeth and avoid costly trips to the dentist.
Clean and Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
As it turns out, sometimes the biggest challenge your teeth face are from your own toothbrush. Regular brushings are all well and good, but they also expose your toothbrush to the very bacteria it’s meant to fight off. Over time, this bacteria eventually builds up on your brush and can leave worse off for trying to take care of your teeth.
Leaving it out in the air only makes things worse, because it helps the bacteria grow. This is why, once a week, you should put it in the microwave for a half hour. Doing so helps kill this type of bacteria off.Then, every few months, get in the habit of replacing your toothbrush. These days, toothbrushes are affordable enough that you should be able to do this with relative ease. By replacing them regularly, you don’t have to worry about bacteria eventually making your daily brushing counterproductive.
Brush After Each Meal
If you’re only brushing once a day, you’re just not doing enough. You absolutely have to brush at least twice a day: once in the beginning and again before you go to bed. Even better, though, would be to brush after each and every meal to clear your mouth out of any food particles that could eventually become bacteria.
This doesn’t have to be difficult. Just make it a habit and build on it. By keeping a toothbrush at work, you can even do it during the day. If heading to the bathroom to brush is too much for you, then consider using dental picks or other popular tools that don’t require water.
Whether flossing is better for you than brushing your teeth is debatable. However, what we do know is that the two are at least comparable to each other, meaning if you only do one or the other, you’ll be coming up short.
Flossing only needs to take a few minutes and floss costs about $1, tops. While using floss picks is a good way to keep the habit going during the day, you really need to use the real thing at least once. The genuine article allows you to get below the gum line where particles hide and bacteria can grow and cause all kinds of problems.
Ditch the Mouthwash
Right now, mouthwash may play a major role in your oral hygiene routine. Sadly, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests mouthwash may actually be sabotaging your best efforts. The alcohol in mouthwash may help kill off bacteria, but it also dries out your mouth to a great degree too. Unfortunately, this creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria too. For this reason, it’s better to just ditch mouthwash altogether. Keep a routine that falls in line with the advice above and consider chewing on peppermint or other organic options that will still give you nice, fresh breath.
With the above advice, you’ll have a much healthier mouth to look forward to, yet you’ll notice that none of these tips are overly demanding of your time or budget. While you need to see a dentist at least twice a year, they’ll be very impressed with what they find thanks to the above advice.