Beauty Diaries

Beauty Diaries

Your Personal Beauty Bulletin Blog

The BB woman and her teeth

b2ap3_thumbnail_teeth.jpg13 tricks to keep your gums and teeth clean

Want gorgeous teeth and happy, healthy gums? Follow these tips along with your regular dental-health regime

 

1. Go on a white-teeth diet

 

What goes in shows up on your teeth. So if you’re drinking a lot of red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits include colas, gravies and dark juices. The bottom line: if it’s dark before you put it in your mouth, it will probably stain your teeth. Step one: brush your teeth immediately after having foods that stain. Step two: regularly use a good bleaching agent, either from the pharmacy or your dentist. Step three: be conscious of tooth-staining foods and drinks, and have them only when a toothbrush is around. If not, have an apple for dessert.

2. Hum while you brush

 

The ideal amount of time to brush to get all the bacteria-packed plaque out is at least two minutes, researchers found. Use your watch or keep a timer in the bathroom and set it for two minutes. Or find a tune that lasts about two minutes and hum it to the end.

3. Grip your toothbrush like a pencil

 

Does your toothbrush look as if it’s been used to clean the car? If so, you’re probably brushing too hard. Contrary to what some scrub-happy people think, brushing with force is not the best way to remove plaque. The best way is to place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against your gums and gently move it in a circular motion, rather than a back-and-forth motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.

4. Drink a cup of tea every day

 

Flavonoids and other ingredients in tea seem to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, and also block production of a type of sugar that contributes to cavities. Tea also contains high amounts of fluoride.

5. Change your brush

 

Throw away your toothbrush or change the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months. Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth.

6. Use alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse away bacteria

 

Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria. Some studies even suggest a link between mouthwashes containing alcohol and an increased risk of oral cancer. To be safe, be a teetotaller when it comes to choosing a mouthwash.

7. Clean your tongue

 

Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. A major cause of bad breath is the build-up of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help to banish. Using a tongue scraper is more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush.

8. Cut back on sugar

 

Even if you’re an adult, avoid sugary foods. Sugar plus bacteria equals oral plaque. Plaque then leads to bleeding gums, tooth decay and cavities. Plus, the acid in refined sugars and carbonated beverages dissolves tooth enamel.

9. Eat tooth-cleaning foods

 

Foods that are firm or crisp help to clean the teeth as they’re eaten. Apples have already been mentioned; other choices include raw carrots, celery and (unsweetened) popcorn. For best results, make “detergent” foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you can’t brush your teeth 
straight after eating.

10. Hydrate

 

Drink about a glass of water for every hour that you’re at work. That way, when you get home, you’ll have had plenty of water for the entire day. Not only does the water help to keep your digestive system healthy and hydrate your skin, but it also helps to keep your teeth white. The more water you drink, the more bacteria you flush off your teeth and out of your mouth, meaning less risk of gum disease, fewer cavities and fresher breath.

11. Keep teeth for eating

 

Keep a bottle opener and a small pair of scissors in your bag or desk drawer. If you have the right gadgets to hand, you won’t be tempted to use your teeth as tools, which can damage them. In fact, never, ever use your teeth as tools for anything except eating.

12. Check your breath

 

To check the freshness of your breath, lick your palm and smell it while it’s still wet. If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint or to brush your teeth.

13. Prevent tooth fractures

 

don’t chew—very hard foodstuffs such as hard candy or ice. Chewing hard foods creates tiny fractures in the enamel of your teeth that, over the years, combine to result in major cracks.

 

Happy Teeth!

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