Say No to Plaque – Ways to Keep Your Teeth Cleaner This Year

A healthy, beautiful smile is most likely a goal for many people’s New Year’s resolutions.  While it may seem like a daunting task, there are many simple ways to improve your oral health.


Proven Brushing Techniques


We all know that brushing twice a day is important.  But knowing when to brush can be a difference-maker in the health of your teeth and gums.  Brush your teeth when you get out of bed and right before you get back in.  Bacteria and plaque that built up overnight will be brushed away, as will morning breath.  Saliva, your natural defense against cavities, dries up during the night as you sleep, so it is crucial to brush the plaque away before you go to sleep.


Once a week, brush your teeth with baking soda to help remove stains, which will help whiten your teeth.  If you’re out of baking soda, you can use salt as a substitute.


The technique is also important when brushing your teeth.  You should spend about two minutes for each brushing session, and you want to softly brush each tooth about fifteen times in a circular motion. Consider purchasing an electric toothbrush to assist with the circle motions.  A toothbrush should last you about two to three months before you need to spring for a new one.  Be cautious when applying pressure, because you can easily harm your gums if you brush too hard.


Why Use Mouthwash


Dentists recommend to wash your mouth out twice a day.  However, an alcohol-free mouthwash is a better option because alcohol dries your mouth out, which can leave the tissues in your mouth more exposed to bacteria.


Not a fan of mouthwash in general?  Gargle with apple cider vinegar instead. The vinegar still kills bacteria, removes stains, and whitens teeth.


Soda & Sugar Alternatives


While we all love a bubbly soda, it’s important to limit our intake of soda to protect our enamel.  The acids in these fizzy drinks break down the protective enamel on your teeth, opening up your chompers to developing cavities.  A soda once in awhile will not leave you with a mouth full of problems as long as you keep up regular tooth maintenance (brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash).


Sugar is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to tooth decay.  It stimulates bacteria and acids in your mouth, enabling plaque to build up and eat away at your teeth.  The good news is, there are many sugar alternatives and sugar-free options these days.  From sugar-free creamer in your coffee to a sugar substitute in your baking recipe, there are many ways to enjoy sweets without putting your oral health at risk.  However, if you do want to eat a sugary snack or dessert, make sure to brush your teeth right afterwards if possible to reduce the chances of developing cavities.


Go to the Dentist


The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends two dental visits per year.  While this may be difficult for people because of finances or phobias of going to the dentist, it is a wise investment to make.  The earlier your dentist identifies problem areas, the better you can fight tooth decay.  While the recommendation for teeth cleaning is every six months, your dentist will give you the best advice as to how many times a year you need to get your teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office.  Dentists have the training and tools necessary to understand the health of your mouth and without their insight, your teeth can suffer.


For any questions regarding smart oral health practices, or to set up a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas.