If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know just how important it is to keep your teeth healthy—and how expensive it gets to fix them. And getting a cleaning from your dentist
once a year isn’t going to cut it. You need to be proactively protecting your teeth every single day.
Here are five easy ways you can protect your teeth today:
1. Make sure you brush twice a day
Plaque, the root of tooth decay and disease, is building on your teeth all the time. It builds faster when you eat and drink, but it also builds when you sleep. That’s why your dentist wants you to brush in the morning as well as at night.
Ideally you should brush your teeth for a full two minutes each time. If you’re struggling to fit in a second brushing, aim to start with ten seconds and increase the length of your second brushing every week until you hit two minutes.
2. But be gentle about it
A lot of people do brush their teeth twice a day, but they brush their teeth wrong. The most common way they get it wrong is by brushing too hard. This might feel like it’s more effective, but that’s because it tears the enamel off your teeth along with the plaque.
Think of brushing your teeth as more of a massaging process than a scrubbing process. Slow, small and steady movements are what will win the race against tooth decay.
3. Make sure you get your tongue, too
Bacteria lives throughout your entire mouth, and a lot of it flourishes on your tongue—especially the bacteria that causes bad breath. Brushing your tongue for twenty seconds after you brush your teeth can keep it from getting out of hand.
Most toothbrushes now come with a tongue “brush” on the back of the head. If you have particularly bad buildup of bacteria on your tongue you can also purchase separate tongue scrapers.
4. Watch what you drink
Most people have no idea how much sugar they drink on a daily basis. Even fruit juice can be incredibly bad for your teeth thanks to the high concentration of sugar. And sugar isn’t the only thing you need to watch out for. The acid in pop—even sugar-free diet sodas—literally attacks your enamel, and alcohol contains a variety of nasty chemicals that can stain or otherwise damage your teeth.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy, limit or completely cut out alcohol, soda, and anything but freshly-squeezed fruit juice you make yourself.
5. Chew sugar-free gum
The average pack of gum contains a massive amount of sugar and is terrible for your teeth, but sugar free gum can actually help keep your mouth healthy. Chewing a piece of sugar free gum after a meal actually reduces the acidity levels in your mouth.
Chewing gum also makes your mouth produce more saliva, a key component in keeping your mouth clean and your teeth strong.
The best way to ensure good long term oral health is to develop and maintain the right habits. Your teeth are precious, and it’s essential to take time to care for them properly every single day. You’ll save yourself a lot of pain—and a lot of money.