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Posted January 8, 2017

A new year is upon us and while your dental hygiene might not be at the top of your resolution list, it might be one of the easier ones to keep this year. Here are some easy ways to keep your mouth healthy and your smile white in 2017. Completing the whole list might be a little daunting so we recommend picking a few to start and adding more as the others become part of your daily routine.

Drink More Water

Drinking water with each meal instead of a sugary or dark colored beverage will help to cut down on the amount of sugar your teeth are exposed to on a daily basis. Getting started is easy, just choose one meal a day that you would usually have something other than water and either replace the drink with water or have a glass of water in addition to the beverage. Getting to the point where you are drinking water alongside every meal and every sugary beverage will not only keep your mouth healthier but will also keep your body healthy and hydrated. Hydration is often forgotten about when it comes to dentistry; we know we are supposed to brush our teeth and floss but keeping hydrated is often pushed aside. Staying hydrated can actually help decrease the bacteria that causes bad breath from building up on your tongue and inside your mouth. A good way to tell if you need more water is to look at the color of your tongue. If your tongue is completely white or has a white or yellowish color, it is time to grab a glass of water.

Chew Sugar-free Gum

Sugarless chewing gum has been a good way of getting some of the gunk off your teeth and improving bad breath when brushing is not possible or convenient at the time. It is important to chew sugar-free gum so that you aren’t giving your teeth a sugar bath every time your bit down. Sugar-free gum also keeps it flavor and freshness longer than sugar gum. Chewing gum can also help to keep your mouth feeling hydrated until you are able to have a glass of water as it increases saliva production.

Keep Up With Routine Dental Appointments

Staying up to date with your dental appointments will help to keep your teeth healthy. Routine cleanings are important to preventing plaque buildup, protecting your enamel and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Lifepoint also offers a Lifetime Whitening program that will ensure that you always have a beautifully white smile.

Adopt a Teeth Friendly Diet

People always say that you should eat right for your body, but what about eating right for your teeth? Eating right for your teeth is simple and will not only encourage a healthy mouth but can also have a nice effect on your waistline. Below is a list of foods that great for keeping your teeth white and healthy.

  1. Drink lots of water – water helps to clean your mouth and wash away sugar residue and staining agents in food and drinks
  2. Choose low sugar food – the less sugar you expose your teeth to the better, you will have few cavities and a healthier mouth
  3. Avoid consuming a lot of acidic foods such as fruit juice, coffee, lemons, oranges wine, etc
  4. Instead eat cheese, sugar-free gum, pears, yogurt, sesame oil,
  5. Avoid foods that are sugary, sticky and acidic all in one such as sour chewy candies like SourPatch Kids or Starburst.
  6. Instead Eat Nature’s Toothpaste – carrots, popcorn, celery spinach, beans actually clean your teeth when you chew them, and they all require quite a bit of chewing. Strawberries are awesome too because they help to whiten the enamel.
  7. Limit consumption of hard candy (too much sugar in your mouth for a long time), pickles (erode the enamel on your teeth), soda pop and sports drinks (too much sugar and too acidic), crackers (break down to sugar in the mouth and produce bacteria that cause cavities) and limit coffee, tea and wine (cause teeth to stain).
  8. Opt for less sugary snacks.

Brush Your Teeth, Floss, Gargle & Whiten

How many times did you hear your parents tell you to put your pajamas on, brush your teeth and go to bed when you were growing up? Probably every night when it was time to begin your bed time routine. The truth is, we should be brushing at more than just bed time, but there are a couple guidelines to follow when brushing your teeth you may not know.

  1. Use a toothpaste with fluoride in it.
  2. Brush your teeth right when you get up in the morning and right before you go to bed for at least two minutes.
  3. Choose a toothbrush that has medium to soft bristles and hold the brush a 45-degree angle away from your gums
  4. Brush your teeth 20 to 40 minutes after consuming something acidic or sugary. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating one of these food can actually cause more harm than good because of the acid and sugar is still in your mouth right after eating or drinking.
  5. Use baking soda or salt as toothpaste once a week to clean your teeth, remove stains and keep your mouth healthy.
  6. Change your tooth brush or toothbrush head if you use an electronic brush every two to three months. Bacteria build up begins and the bristles begin to wear down.
  7. Floss every day to remove particles between teeth than a toothbrush cannot reach.
  8. Gargle apple cider vinegar as your regular mouth wash or at least once a week. This helps to remove stains, whiten your teeth and kill bacteria.
  9. If you do choose to gargle a standard mouthwash, choose one that is alcohol-free. The alcohol in mouth wash actually makes your mouth more susceptible to bacteria and dry mouth which causes bad breath bacteria to grow.
  10. Use a tongue scrapper rather than brushing your tongue. You will remove more bacteria and be left with fresh breath.
  11. Whiten your teeth. Lifepoint Dental Partners offers a Lifetime Whitening program for $99 that will allow you to keep your pearly whites white instead of yellow.

Lose the Tobacco

Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars are not only terrible for your lungs and your body’s health, but they are terrible for your teeth and mouth as well. Smoking tobacco darkens teeth, can cause tooth deterioration and tooth loss as well as cancer of the mouth. Loose the tobacco and get on the right path to a healthier mouth and a healthier you.

Women: Choose the Right Shade of Lipstick

By choosing the right shade of lipstick you can make your teeth look whiter automatically. A medium coral or light red color will help to make your smile looked whiter and brighter.

Women and Men: Get a Little Color

A little tan can make your teeth look whiter, don’t go orange, but a slight tan will help to brighten your smile.

The year, make it a resolution to take care of your teeth and your mouth. Though all of the tips may be difficult to take in at one time, you are probably already doing a few of them. Over the course of this next year, devote some time each day to your mouth. Come to your routine appointments, brush at least twice a day and add in a couple new care tips every month until taking care of your mouth becomes second nature. If you are ready to schedule your next appointment you can do so right here. If you have any questions about our office, dentists or services please contact us today.

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