On St. Patrick’s Day, they say everyone is Irish—but you don’t need the luck of the Irish all year round to have healthy teeth and gums! Following these daily tips and tricks will keep your smile healthy, no four-leaf clovers required.
Not only should you brush twice a day, but you should brush the right way! Following these steps is way easier than spotting a leprechaun and rewards you a lot longer:
- Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and brush with a back-and-forth, up-and-down motion. Be gentle!
- Brush for two minutes—keep track with a timed electric toothbrush, or by listening to a favorite song (perhaps an Irish jig).
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue. You can even buy a tongue scraper for a more effective clean.
- Replace your toothbrush every two to three months or when you notice it becoming worn down.
Eat Gum-Healthy Foods
When it comes to gum health, what you eat makes a big impact. Think of the Emerald Isle for this one—it’s easy being green!
- Apples are sometimes referred to as “nature’s toothbrush,” cutting through plaque that clings to gums. However, make sure to rinse soon afterward to remove any extra acid and sugar.
- Leafy greens that are high-fiber and stringy require extra chewing, which produces saliva that helps neutralize mouth bacteria. Think spinach and celery; onions also have an antimicrobial ingredient, and if you’re worried about onion-breath, just be sure to brush after you eat!
Minimize Foods that Stain Teeth
Nobody wants discolored, unhealthy teeth, so here are some foods you can avoid to keep your pearly whites from turning pot-o-gold yellow.
- Avoid tobacco—not only does tobacco stain your teeth, its use leads to many health issues, including various cancers, gum disease, and tooth loss.
- Limit your intake of sodas, coffee, and other dark liquids, and make sure to brush or rinse with mouthwash when you do drink them.
- Switch to sugarless gum to help refresh your teeth and gums between meals. Be wary, however, of over-chewing for extended periods, which can fatigue your jaw.
Wear a Mouth Guard or Helmet
Sports are a great way to stay healthy, but don’t neglect your teeth in the process! Play your way to victory with gear that fits properly and meets safety regulations to protect against heavy impacts, and afterward you can celebrate with a toast to good health. ‘Sláinte!
At Birmingham Orthodontics, our mission is simple: we create smiles. Not only do we straighten the crooked grin, fix the bite, and adjust the jaw, we also brighten yearbooks, help young people come to like their looks, and give adults the confidence they have wanted for a long, long time. We also believe in our staff. Our culture of continuous learning has allowed us to host monthly training sessions for each team and bring in leading industry consultants to help keep us ahead of the curve. Contact us for a free consultation, or any questions you might have.