A brilliant smile can make your first impressions positive and lasting. While what’s on the inside matters more than what’s on the outside, a healthy, white smile attracts others to you and wins them over. From financial issues to an aversion to visiting the dentist, barriers to good oral health care can stand in the way of living your life with confidence. Try hacking your dental care instead. You’ll soon have a healthy smile armed with knowledge of the interesting facts about oral health, a toothbrush and a handful of natural remedies. Here are 7 natural steps to whiter and healthier teeth.
Challenges to Your Dental Health
Think of your mouth as the gateway to the rest of your body’s health. Nutritional deficiencies and heart disease warning signs start in the mouth. Here a few of the most common conditions and challenges to your dental health you might face:
- Bad breath
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Cavities and tooth decay
- Gingivitis (bleeding gums)
- Oral cancer
- Mouth sores
- Tooth erosion, sensitivity or aches
- Enamel degradation
Many different factors contribute to discoloration, disease and the wearing down of teeth. Genetics, smoking, drinking acidic beverages like fruit juice or wine, and bad nutrition are some of the things that influence poor oral health. Aging and antibiotic use can also affect your smile negatively.
Here’s what you can do to combat these factors.
Put Your Teeth on a Diet
You are what you eat and drink, so put your teeth on a diet. If you smoke and kick back the black tea or red wine, expect to have discolored teeth. Always brush after eating, and watch what you put in your mouth on the regular. Avoid those staining agents, and eat healthier foods such as apples and cauliflower — they practically scrub your teeth for you.
Bristles look more like mowed down trees? Replace that grungy toothbrush. Electronic toothbrush head ain’t what it used to be? Replace it every two or three months.
If you don’t switch brushes, you’re just swapping bacteria back and forth. Get the most out of your brushing action by using circular motions and holding the brush at a 45-degree angle.
Scrape Your Tongue
Getting the gunk off your tongue proves difficult with a toothbrush, and that gunk causes your breath to smell funky. Use a tongue scraper to erase plaque on the tongue each morning and eliminate bacteria buildup.
Care for Implants Like Normal Teeth
When tooth decay and damage is extensive, you may consider implants, and fortunately, your implants will never experience cavities. However, they experience normal wear and tear and must be cared for like natural teeth to last for the long run.
If you just got implants, visit your dentist four times during the first year instead of your regular two appointments. Otherwise, your dental care routine is much the same as it was. Keep up with flossing, brush at least twice daily, keep your tongue plaque-free and show off that smile. Electric toothbrushes take less time to use than regular ones.
Oil pulling dates back to Ayurvedic ancient texts, some 3,000 to 5,000 years ago, and doesn’t damage your gums or enamel. Instead, studies show oil pulling is as effective as many clinical treatments for bleeding gums, bad breath, bacterial growth and discoloration.
Oils commonly swished with by the ancients and moderns include sesame and coconut oil. Coconut oil especially has whitening and decay-fighting properties. Swish for 15 minutes and spit the oil in the trash can.
Some folks worry that baking soda is too abrasive for teeth cleaning, like salt or activated charcoal, but it is actually ideal for cleaning your teeth.
Make a paste by mixing a little water into baking soda — basically like coating your toothbrush in it. You can also mix some in with your toothpaste. Brush your regular two minutes or so, spit and rinse. Do this routinely once or twice a week for whiter teeth.
Store Floss Everywhere and Anywhere
Become the Flossinator — store floss everywhere and anywhere. Many people dread flossing, but when you get into the habit, it’s not so bad. Try floss sticks with a pick on the end to make it easier.
You can floss anywhere, from your desk to your car. Store floss in your purse, glove compartment, briefcase, desk and nightstand.
Use these seven hacks to get healthier, whiter teeth naturally and safely. Barriers to good dental hygiene don’t have to stand in your way. Instead, tackle your oral health care needs with items found in your pantry.