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Having a healthy, white smile is a goal for most of us. Maintaining a good routine for dental hygiene is key to the foundation of that success.The work required to make this happen, can be difficult and even overwhelming at times. Below are just a few easy tips to keep you on track for a healthy, white smile that dazzles.

Top 10 Dental Tips

1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly. This is very important to not only keep your teeth clean but keep your mouth free of periodontal disease. Regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings can help you keep your teeth clean, white, and healthy for a lifetime.

2. Beware of stains. Drinking red wine, black tea, or even indulging in an occasional cigar will give your teeth a darker, duller appearance. Brushing and flossing alone will not be able to remove these stains that work their way deep into your teeth. A good tip for when you do indulge is to brush and floss immediately after eating and drinking any items you think might stain your teeth. There are also natural tooth whiteners that you can use like crunchy vegetables and fresh apples. Their crunchiness helps give a cleaning action to your teeth to remove some of the lighter staining. There are also whitening toothpastes, such as colgate  optic white, which are very effective at removing surface staining when used regularly.

3. Don’t Forget Your Tongue. Studies have shown that bad breath can emanate from the tongue. Dead cells and bacteria can harbor in the folds of our tongue contributing to bad breath. Tongue scraping alone will not rid you of bad breath but it can help. You can use a toothbrush for this or most stores carry tongue scrapers specifically designed for the task at hand.

4. Gargle With Apple Cider Vinegar. This has become a popular remedy for whiter teeth. However, the vinegar can promote an acidic environment in the mouth causing tooth enamel erosion. Rinse with this at your own risk. The benefits may not be worth the risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay.

5. Use An Antibacterial/ Anti-Tartar/ Fluoride Mouthrinse. Oral rinses can get to places we sometimes miss from brushing and flossing. They also have the ability to lower the bacteria count in the mouth to help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. A good tip is to choose a mouthwash that  specifically targets your needs. There are whitening rinses, anti-plaque rinses to reduce periodontal bacteria such as listerine, anti-tartar rinses such as Periogen, Fluoride rinses such as ACT.

6. Chew Sugarless Gum (with Xylitol). Xylitol has been shown to decrease the incidence in tooth decay when chewed regularly. Xylitol enhances the remineralization of teeth, particularly in small decay spots just developing in the tooth enamel. Also, bacteria are unable to produce acid when xyltiol is present. This inhibition of acid production will help the teeth to stay safe from tooth decay.

7. Brush With A Teeth Whitening Toothpaste. While the effectiveness of these toothpastes comes into question for many they do help remove light staining. Brushing with a toothpaste like Colgate’s optic white can keep your teeth as white as possible in between dental visits.

8. Choose The Right Lipstick. This tip is for the ladies, choose a medium coral or light red lipstick. These colors can make your teeth appear to look whiter, whereas lighter-colored lipsticks tend to bring out the yellow and darker areas in teeth.

9. Floss Regularly. Many do not realize the staining that can occur in between teeth from plaque buildup. Flossing will help keep tooth decay and periodontal disease in check but it can also make your teeth whiter and brighter.

10. Strawberries. There has been some evidence showing that strawberries have some teeth whitening properties. So next time you grab for a snack think about your teeth and grab some strawberries.

 Whiter Smile Conclusion

Having a healthy, white smile can be a reality with routine dental care coupled with good dental hygiene at home. For those, who need have dental issues already and need a little boost, there are many treatments that your dentist can advise you of  that can be personalized for your individual needs. It is never too late to have a healthier looking smile!

Bad breath or halitosis, results from poor maintenance of dental hygiene, chemical breakdown of food, and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by  unhealthy lifestyle habits. We all know how bad our breath is after eating onions or garlic for lunch, but did you know that your tongue can be a major cause of your bad breath?

Importance of Regularly Cleaning Your Tongue

Did you know that your tongue’s surface is the main breeding ground for harmful bacteria? These are the same bacteria that attack your teeth and gums causing tooth cavities and periodontal disease.  Bacteria  give off toxins in your mouth that in turn produce foul smelling gases.

Most people are aware of the importance of brushing and flossing but a simple “scraping” of your tongue twice a day can reduce bad breath odors. Studies have shown this can reach as high as a 75% reduction in odors emanating from the mouth.

A dental myth widely believed is that the stomach is the root cause of bad breath. Bad breath directly caused from the stomach is so rare that of a thousand people treated for bad breath not a single case was caused by underlying stomach issues.

Tooth brushing and most mouthwashes do nothing to remove oral debris and dead cells on the tongue, the root cause of bad breath. The most you can hope for from them, is to mask the bad breath for a short while. A combination of methods works best and this should include brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning. Tongue cleaning can show a huge improvement in one’s breath almost immediately.

Orabrush Marielaina Perrone DDS

Orabrush for a Cleaner Tongue

Tongue Cleaning: Did You Know?

-Combination of teeth brushing and tongue cleaning can reduce bad breath by as much as 85% Vs. tooth brushing alone.

-Tongue cleaning alone can reduce mouth odor by as much as 75%.

-Brushing alone, reduces mouth odor by as much as 25%.

Tongue cleaning reduces the amount of bacteria, plaque, and dead cells on the tongue by as much as 40%

-Tongue cleaning will cut down the bacteria stored in the mouth by Tenfold.

-Tongue cleaning reduces halitosis including smoker‘s breath by as much as 85 %

How to Clean Your Tongue Effectively

There are lots of products on the market now strictly for tongue cleaning. There are many types of apparatus available to clean your tongue, it is strictly a matter of preference. The old fashioned manual toothbrush does quite an effective job as well.

1.  Apply a pea sized amount of toothpaste to a wet toothbrush, not the same one that you use for your teeth, because the tongue holds significantly more debris and different bacteria than your tongue. The tongue cleaning toothbrush should be rinsed in antibacterial mouth rinse and stored separately so as not to contaminate your regular toothbrush.

2. Open your mouth wide and stick your tongue out at yourself in front of the mirror. Reach in with the toothbrush and gently touch the back of your tongue, near your throat. If you gag, pull the toothbrush a bit farther out of your mouth and try again. Repeat this step until you find a starting point that does not cause you to gag. Don’t worry if you can’t get very far back, your gag reflex will relax over time.

3. Press down on the toothbrush and pull it forward. Drag it across the entire length of your tongue until you reach the tip.

4. Repeat Step 2, moving the brush off to one side slightly so you drag across a new section of tongue. Spit out excess toothpaste if necessary, but don’t swallow it.

5. Continue doing this until you have scraped the entire top of your tongue. Rinse the toothbrush. Lighten the pressure, and repeat the process on the underside. If the procedure is painful, you’re pushing too hard.

6. Rinse your mouth thoroughly for at least one minute with an anti bacterial mouthwash. Spit when you’re finished.

Tongue Cleaning Conclusion

Maintaining good oral hygiene may seem like a daunting task but it is really quite simple once it becomes a part of your daily routine. Not only will you experience better breath, and less dental issues, but you will feel better and more confident about yourself as you go about your daily activities. Research has shown time and again how important a smile is to our self esteem. Give yourself peace of mind and follow your dental hygiene instructions for a happier, healthier you!