6 Quick Tips for Taking Better Care of Your Teeth

Good dental care takes more than just brushing your teeth and flossing when you remember to. But hold on just a second — you don’t need to run for the hills quite yet. Many steps toward better dental health (and whiter teeth!) take less than 30 seconds to do, perfect for your busy schedule. Here are some easy tips to take better care of your teeth.

Don’t brush teeth after drinking soda (or eating in general)

You may feel tempted to brush your teeth right after enjoying a sugary treat or downing a soda. After all, the phosphorous in sodas can deplete the calcium in your teeth, and food dyes and corn syrup can discolor your teeth. But if your teeth are brushed too soon after eating, you may loosen enamel that has been weakened by acids found in those foods, damaging your teeth. Saliva naturally restores your mouth’s pH to normal within 30 minutes of eating, but if you can’t wait that long for your mouth to feel clean again, swish around some water or chew a stick of xylitol sugarless gum.

Change your toothbrush

If you’re like most people, you rely on your dentist for a semi-annual toothbrush replacement. But just because it’s given to you by your dentist doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best. Electric toothbrushes are much more effective at removing plaque compared to conventional toothbrushes. Oscillating motion combined with a small brush makes for very thorough plaque removal, especially for children since they’re more likely to miss spots.

Use mouthwash

Mouthwash isn’t just another advertising gimmick used by dental product manufacturers to get you to spend more on their products. Mouthwash flushes food particles out of your mouth to keep it healthy and protect your enamel, as well as other factors that contribute to bad breath. Of course, not just any mouthwash off the shelf will do. Look for one that contains both chlorine dioxide and fluoride; the former for cleaning the mouth, the latter for strengthening and protecting your teeth.

Follow up with clove oil

Clove oil contains a compound called eugenol, which is a purifier. Used in your mouth, it can help with gum discomfort and help promote fresh breath. Rub diluted clove oil on your gums to keep them healthier. Other essential oils good for maintaining dental health include melaleuca, cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint and doTERRA’s On Guard blend. The key to success with essential oils is to remember to dilute them before use.

Snack Smarter

If you tend to get the munchies halfway through the afternoon, choosing tooth-friendly snacks can help improve dental health while also providing wholesome nutrition. Snacks like apples, carrots, and celery actually help keep teeth clean. Cheese alkalizes oral pH and lowers risk of tooth decay. Almonds are a good source of calcium and protein, strengthening teeth from the inside. Drink milk or water instead of soda, sports drinks, or even fruit juice. Avoid snacking on candy, as this increases acid in your mouth, encourages plaque growth, and sticks to your teeth, where it can then cause decay.

Take a calcium supplement and daily multivitamin

Some people think of daily multivitamins as a sign of age, but the better you take care of your body now, the better it will function later on in life. Take a quality multivitamin for B vitamins as well as copper, zinc, iodine, iron, and potassium — all important for preventing your gums from bleeding. Take a calcium and vitamin D supplement to augment your tooth and bone health.

Responsible dental care doesn’t always have to be as tiresome or painful as flossing. Sometimes setting a good example for the kiddos is as easy as grabbing a stick of gum or taking a pill. You only have one set of teeth, so take care of them!