Our smiles are incredibly valuable to us. It’s a large part of how we communicate and for many of us what we’re most self-conscious about too. However, so often we don’t look after our oral hygiene well enough, whether that be not going for regular check-ups at the dentist, or abusing our mouths with various toxins.
Many foods and drinks can be hugely damaging to our oral hygiene, from sugary treats to the likes of alcohol, which can have a huge impact on our teeth and gums. You’ll find that in alcohol rehab centres, and indeed at drug rehabs, bad oral hygiene is one of the main consequences of addiction, and giving them up can have a dramatic impact, if it’s not too late.
But how else can you improve your oral hygiene with some simple, lesser-known, fixes?
Use a tongue scraper
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A tongue scraper is a small, handheld tool that is used to clean the tongue. It is designed to remove the bacteria and food particles that can build up on the surface of the tongue, which can cause bad breath and other oral health problems. Using a tongue scraper can help to improve your oral hygiene by reducing the amount of bacteria in your mouth. To use a tongue scraper, simply run it gently along the surface of your tongue, starting at the back and working your way forward.
Use mouthwash before brushing
Most people use mouthwash after brushing their teeth, but using it before brushing can be even more effective. This is because mouthwash contains antiseptic ingredients that can help to kill the bacteria in your mouth, making it easier to remove them with your toothbrush. Using mouthwash before brushing can help to improve the effectiveness of your brushing routine and keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
Chew sugar-free gum after meals
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help to improve your oral hygiene by stimulating the production of saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize the acids in your mouth that can cause tooth decay, and it also helps to wash away food particles and bacteria. Chewing gum can also help to freshen your breath and prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to bad breath and other oral health problems.
Use interdental brushes
Interdental brushes are small, cone-shaped brushes that are designed to clean the spaces between your teeth. These spaces are often neglected by traditional brushing and flossing, but they can be a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. Using interdental brushes can help to remove food particles and bacteria from these hard-to-reach areas, improving your overall oral hygiene. To use an interdental brush, simply insert it gently between your teeth and move it back and forth, making sure to clean all sides of each tooth.
Drink plenty of water
Drinking plenty of water is essential for good oral hygiene. Water helps to flush away food particles and bacteria from your mouth, and it also helps to stimulate the production of saliva. Drinking water can also help to prevent dry mouth, which can contribute to bad breath and other oral health problems. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, and try to avoid sugary or acidic drinks, which can be harmful to your teeth.