It’s one of the pillars of our hygiene, but do we take the time to look after our mouths the way we are supposed to? For a lot of people, that fateful trip to the dentist brings about a lot of anxiety because they know that they haven’t been looking after their mouths as well as they should! And while we all know the importance of brushing twice a day, this isn’t all we should be doing. So, let’s have a look at some of the things you can do to look after your teeth, your gums, your tongue, and the entirety of your mouth.
Making Those Teeth As White (And Healthy) As Possible…
It might not need to be said, but there is such a negative effect on our teeth if we consume too much sugar. And while it’s not right to tell people to drink less or to not enjoy that bit of chocolate at the end of a hard week, there are things that we can do to look after our teeth better. A lot of us aren’t happy with the shape of our teeth (especially those people that didn’t have braces in school), and we may find that that one out of place tooth can become a problem as we age. But with the development of braces over the years it’s now possible to get invisible braces which you can barely see. There are lots of places that now do this service such as Dentistry with TLC, and you can discover Dentistry with TLC on their website for more information on invisible braces. The main thing about realigning your teeth is it will make them stronger as well as give you that peace of mind when it comes to feeling embarrassed about the shape of your teeth, which a lot of us feel from time to time.
Once you have realigned your teeth, the next step would be to tackle the color, especially if you drink sugary drinks and enjoy a glass of wine now and again, which will discolor the teeth. But the secret weapon to making your teeth white is actually to consume foods that are rich in vitamin C, which are fruits like strawberries, lemons, and oranges. But you have to be aware that these are highly acidic, so you need to strike the right balance. It’s also worth getting into the habit of rinsing your mouth out with water after you have consumed any acidic drink, from fizzy soda to alcohol. Milk is generally okay, of course, but it’s important to note that there are small quantities of sugar in it.
Remember, there’s a lot to be said for natural remedies which can help to remove plaque, such as apple cider vinegar which is also good in whitening your teeth. But make sure you apply it to water to dilute it and to reduce the acidic qualities. Bicarbonate of soda is another natural ingredient to help whiten your teeth, and many common kinds of toothpaste now have a small quantity of it in its ingredients. Just apply bicarb of soda straight to the teeth or mash it up into a paste with some salt.
Freshening Your Breath!
A big part of your oral hygiene, if you are someone who suffers from chronically bad breath, it could be a sign of festering bacteria or poor mouth habits. There are simple ways to freshen up your breath, and a lot of it is to do with your diet. While we may underestimate our tongue, when we brush our teeth at night a lot of unpleasant odors can stick to it, especially if you eat a lot of fatty foods. It’s important to have healthy carbohydrates to balance out the fat, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and fruits.
One fruit you can use in your fight against bad breath is apples. This is one of the foods that stimulate saliva, which helps to rinse out bacteria. In addition to this, the hard texture of crunchy foods like apples, carrots, or celery can contribute to remove the food that is caught between your teeth and rub away the bacteria. Natural remedies are a great choice when it comes to bad breath because they are low in acidity. Herbs like mint leaves or parsley is an easy way to freshen your breath. One of the reasons people have bad breath is because foods aren’t being broken down properly in the stomach which can ferment in your stomach and increase the acidity levels. If you are one of these people that do not chew your food properly you may wish to consume foods that aid digestion or take a probiotic supplement which ironically probiotics are found in fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Also, the importance of good oral hygiene will help especially if you get into the habit of cleaning your tongue by using a tongue scraper or just using your toothbrush on it. The main thing to take away from trying to keep your breath as fresh as possible is that you need to keep your mouth as moist as possible. Saliva will wash away odors and bacteria which means trying, where you can, to stay away from food and drink that dries your mouth out. This will increase the bacteria in your mouth and will affect your cavities too. If you can get mouthwash that doesn’t have alcohol that will be a good step, but you can also make your own with the ever faithful bicarbonate of soda mixed in a cup of warm water with a couple of drops of peppermint oil. The bicarbonate of soda is antibacterial, and the peppermint will add a zing of freshness to your breath.
Understanding Why We Get Mouth Ulcers
Also known as canker sores, these are little sores that appear inside the mouth which are very uncomfortable but are usually harmless and will clear up after a couple of weeks. But they can affect your ability to enjoy food in general if it’s quite a painful ulcer. It’s important to note that mouth ulcers can be caused by various things including constipation, deficiencies of vitamin B and C, a lack of iron or vital nutrients, as well as excessive acidity. But the most common cause is usually a stomach disorder, so it’s key to tackle the root cause rather than to address the symptoms and here are some methods.
Cutting back on bacteria in your mouth, so it doesn’t have a chance to spread, is the key to helping prevent and get rid of mouth ulcers. Honey is an excellent humectant (which means that it prevents dehydration), as well as it has a lot of antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is another one that’s very popular right now, but you can use it as a natural anti-inflammatory by swishing it around in your mouth. By the same token, ghee is another method to try on your ulcer. Simply apply it on the ulcer and let it stay there for a few minutes before spitting it out. Aloe vera juice is also another home remedy to treat mouth ulcers, you can drink it as well as swish it around your mouth as drinking it has been known to cure stomach ulcers by healing the stomach lining and reducing what is known as a leaky gut syndrome.
Preventing Gum Disease
There’s no quick fix when it comes to preventing gum disease. Gum disease is caused when bacteria in the plaque build up between the gums and the teeth inflaming the gums around the tooth. If left untreated, it can cause gum recession or tooth loss, but while research has shown that gum disease might be associated with things like diabetes or heart disease, you can prevent this by having a good oral hygiene routine. So, the basics like brushing your teeth flossing once a day as well as using mouthwash will help to prevent gum disease. You also need to know if you are at risk based on your age, genetics, and habits such as smoking and diet, as they can all increase your risk for gum disease. That is why there is no replacement for going to a dentist on a regular basis, and they will tell you the same thing, as well as making sure you eat a balanced diet.
If you do have bad mouth hygiene or are facing recurring issues with your mouth, the key things are looking after your mouth properly (such as brushing your teeth), as well as making sure you’re eating the right things, but also making sure that you are in the habit of looking after your mouth. There is no point if it’s got to the point where you are about to have a root canal because of poor oral hygiene! So if you want to minimize your trips to the dentist, prevention is always better than cure. So start now, eat a proper diet and look after yourself so you won’t find yourself down in the mouth!