What’s more important than a smile? A wide toothy grin warms you up from the inside out. But if you’re embarrassed of your pearly whites, you’re likely to avoid showing off your smile. Not to mention that your dental health is important to your overall health. Gum disease, for example, is linked to stroke and heart disease. And poor oral health can lead to oral and facial pain and mouth infections. The bottom line is you’ve got to take care of your teeth. Here’s how:
1. Remember to floss naturally.
Most of us brush twice daily. It’s pretty much socially unacceptable not to. But too few of us floss. Flossing daily is so important to avoiding plaque buildup and gum disease. So don’t forget to floss! And while you’re at it, opt for an unwaxed, natural floss. Waxed floss is often coated with a petroleum byproduct. Also, choose a product that says cruelty-free on the label. This way you know that no animals were harmed in production.
2. Add in oil pulling.
Oil pulling is a great way to keep your mouth in tip top condition. Start with a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil. Both sesame and coconut oil have antibacterial qualities that keep your teeth and gums healthy. And you’ll also notice that oil pulling naturally whitens your teeth quite rapidly.
How to oil pull:
- Swish oil in your month for 10 to 20 minutes while you’re getting ready in the morning. Move back and forth across the teeth.
- The more you oil pull, the longer you’ll be able to do it.
- When you’re done swishing, make sure to spit into the waste basket instead of the toilet, because you’ll end up clogging the toilet or sink with gross build up. Repeat daily.
3. Stay up-to-date with your dental appointments.
Go in every six months for a good deep cleaning. This way you can clean the slate of any tartar buildup while making sure you don’t have any more serious dental problems going on.
4. Stave off stains.
Avoid things that stain your teeth—or brush right after you indulge. For example, brush after enjoying your morning cup o’ joe or after a glass of red wine. Drinking water between offending beverages may also stave off stains. You may want to consider drinking staining culprits out of a straw as well. Other staining foods include soda, grape or cranberry juice, beets, and tomato sauce. Oh and don’t smoke. Ever. It stains your teeth big time, not mention what it does to the rest of your body.
5. Be wary of bad breath.
Bad breath can indicate a larger issue. If you have constant bad breath no matter how often you brush, make a dental appointment to take a deeper look. Bacterial growth on the teeth, gums, and tongue can lead to chronic bad breath.
6. Tongue scraping.
Get yourself a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers can be purchased online. Make sure you buy the stainless steel variety because it’s easier to clean. Tongue scraping can reduce the bacterial growth on the tongue that can lead to bad breath. Removing this bacterial growth is also good for oral health because it reduces the likelihood of tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, etc. This toxic mucus also keeps you from really tasting your food, which is no fun either. Plus, tongue scraping is a good means of detoxing your body of junk each and every day.
How to tongue scrape:
- Tongue scraping should be done first thing in the morning.
- Stand in front of a mirror and place the tongue scraper at the back of the tongue. Push to the front of the tongue and discard build up.
- Repeat twice more.
Your smile is so important to who you are. Smiling not only releases endorphins, it’s important to looking and feeling your best. But your teeth are so much more than just your appearance, they’re also an indicator of your overall health.
Take care of your teeth just as you would the rest of your body. Brush and floss daily, visit the dentist, and protect your pearly whites from staining. And then take a few extra steps, like oil pulling and tongue scraping. Good maintenance means you’ll be able to depend on your grill for years to come.