When it comes to keeping your mouth sparkly clean we are familiar with the old standbys – toothbrush and floss. But what are the other ways you can keep your mouth healthy and clean? Of course, seeing your dentist or prosthodontics regularly, but additionally, consider these tried and true approaches to oral hygiene.
The ingredients in mouth wash are all ADA approved and can benefit your oral health in several ways, including:
- Antimicrobial ingredients kill bacteria, and mitigate gingivitis
- Odor neutralizers and astringent slats help to control bad breath
Mouthwash is very easy to use. Simply pour around 20mL into a small cup (unless you are using a prescription-based mouthwash), and then drink and swish in your mouth, without swallowing. After about 45 seconds, spit the mouthwash out, as it contains chemicals not intended for ingestion. According to the American Dental Association, mouthwash does not have a specific order, and can be used anytime during your oral hygiene routine.
A water pick/water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator, is another way to clean around your teeth and gums, and is especially recommended if you are not a competent flosser. One of the main benefits of water flossers is that they can target bio-film (a tough coating of plaque that can build up around the gums as a result of poor flossing).
A water pick is also an effective tool in fighting gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums that can lead to more serious forms of gum disease if left unchecked. Water flossers are also a great way to clean around braces and orthodontic products.
Interdental cleaners are a great choice to target the areas that are hard to get to in the mouth. The type you choose to use should be based on the recommendation of your dentists and personal preference. Here are a few suggestions:
Dental Sticks: a wooden, triangular shaped stick. There are both fluoridated and non-fluoridated and come with differing widths depending on the amount of interdental space you have between your teeth.
Interdental Pics: easier to hold than floss, helps to remove plaques and food particles from in between teeth.
Interdental Brushes: designed to remove plaque from between teeth and other hard to reach areas, popular for cleaning around braces and bridges.
“Teeth Cleaning” Foods
Crunchy vegetables (such as root vegetables) and certain fruits (like apples and pears) require a lot of chewing, thus increasing saliva, which helps eliminate bacteria and remineralize your teeth. Also, drink a lot of water!
By following these four tips (and regular mouth cleaning), you will be on track to have a bright smile and healthy mouth!