Dental Care Tips for a Fantastic Smile

file6141284333451Most people want a fantastic and healthy smile.  There are many things you can do to have a healthy, white smile.

One important way to gain a great smile is to use fluoride.  Your teeth will remain resistant to decay if you use fluoride.  A lot of towns add fluoride to their tap water.  If you live in a town that already has fluoride in the water, there is not much else you need to do.  But if not, make sure you buy toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride.

Naturally, another important thing you should be doing to gain a great smile is to brush and floss regularly. Brush your teeth twice a day for 3 minutes.  Floss between teeth near the gums on a daily basis.

Maintaining a healthy diet is another important way to get a nice smile. You should really limit your intake of soda and sweets as this can lead to tooth decay.  Coffee is also notorious for staining white teeth. If you want a white smile you may need to stay away from coffee as well.

Your dental health affects the health of your whole body.  Poor dental health can even lead to heart disease.  Use these tips to take care of your teeth and body and to get a fantastic smile.

Make Your Smile Fantastic With These Dental Care Tips | Online-Health-Resources

Give Yourself a 60-Second Dental Check-Up

cartoon tooth

Did you know that the American Dental Association estimates that more than 164 million work hours are lost every year due to oral health problems and dental visits. In an article written by Shubhra Krishan, you can find out how to give yourself a dental check up in just 60 seconds. In addition to regular dental visits, by checking your teeth, gums and tongue from time to time you can save yourself from more serious dental problems.  To learn how to give yourself a 60 second dental check up, read more here: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/give-yourself-a-60-second-dental-check-up.html#ixzz36L9YjyX1

Sensitive Teeth: Causes and Treatments

glass of iced teaTooth sensitivity can be more than just a bummer and actually affect what and how you eat, drink, brush and floss. Alan Carr, DMD, with Mayo Clinic explains a few reasons you may be experiencing sensitive teeth. If you are having problems with teeth sensitivity, first get in to see your dentist. Dr. Carr lists some things your dentist might suggest to help any pain or sensitivity, such as: desensitizing tooth paste, fluoride, a root canal and covering exposed root surfaces.

To read more about the causes and treatments of sensitive teeth, check out Dr. Carr’s original article, What Causes Sensitive Teeth, and How Can I Treat My Sensitive Teeth? 

Photos That Prove Good Teeth Can Change Your Entire Face

pretty woman close upBuzzFeed tends to post articles and photos focusing on entertainment, quizzes and news. In this one, they post 33 photos of celebrities from Madonna to Tom Cruise with before and after photos proving that good teeth can change your entire appearance for the better. If you need any motivation to keep up good oral care, this is it!

Check out the photos here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kimberleydadds/photos-that-prove-good-teeth-can-change-your-face

Why Just Brushing Your Tongue May Not Be Enough

toothbrush and hands Cleaning your tongue is important and necessary to your everyday oral care. The tongue is a prime landing and breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria, food debris, plaque, toxins, fungi and dead cells. Yuck! Hopefully you’re already at least brushing your tongue while brushing your teeth to help rid of bacteria that often makes it’s appearance as an unappealing white, clear or brownish film on your tongue. And although this is a good idea, it just may not be effective enough in removing all that build up of gunk. Just brushing your tongue can actually just move around the bacteria or get it stuck in your brush bristles rather than effectively remove them, and brushing harder is likely to irritate your taste buds. But have no fear, there’s another, better option that is sure to help! And it’s not a new practice at all, but has actually been around for over 5,000 years!

The answer is an Ayurvedic self-care ritual called Jihwa Prakshalana, or “tongue scraping.” If you read our article, “Oil Pulling: Friend or Foe?” you know a bit about Ayurvedic health practices already (and if you haven’t read it, you should really check it out!). But in a nutshell, Ayurveda is the ancient Indian “science of life,” of which many of their practices are resurfacing in holistic health today. Research has actually proven that tongue scraping is more effective than just brushing your tongue at removing and reducing levels of streptococcus mutans and lactobacillus (fancy words for the bacteria known to cause tooth decay).

4 Reasons to Scrape Your Tongue:

  1. Detoxify your body and improve your immune system and digestive health as well as your overall health.
  2. Reduce bad breath (halitosis) by getting rid of odor-causing bacteria and debris.
  3. Taste your favorite foods more intensely by cleaning your taste buds to improve your overall sense of taste.
  4. Last but NOT least, because oral health is important, duh! And removing bacteria on your tongue reduces your risk of problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.

metal spoonThe ideal device to scrape your tongue is a “U” or “V” shaped, thin, metal tool. Ayurveda recommends gold, silver or copper, depending on one’s “prakriti,” or individual constitution. But stainless steel is more practical, works on any constitution, is very inexpensive and can last you a lifetime. A spoon can even be used as a decent tongue-scraping device when in a pinch; a smaller spoon usually works better than larger. There are other products out there that focus or aide in cleaning your tongue; ranging from grooves and ridges on the back of a toothbrush to plastic scrapers with a long handle resembling a toothbrush. And again, these are better than nothing, but they aren’t as effective and being we all know plastics aren’t good for the environment or our health, a metal tongue scraper is advised.

So now that you know WHY you should, HOW do you do it? Easy as 1… 2… 3!

  1. Do it in the morning, before you brush your teeth and on an empty stomach.
  2. Place the scraper as far back on your tongue as possible and guide it forward along your tongue in one long stroke with thorough but gentle pressure to remove the gunk on your tongue (don’t scrape too hard as to irritate your tongue).
  3. Rinse off any debris on the scraper and repeat the process until your tongue feels clean and you’ve removed most, if not all, of the gunk (usually about 5-10 times).

And Voila! You’ve removed toxins, bacteria and plaque and all within 10 seconds!

 

Although scraping your tongue any time, or even multiple times in a day is beneficial, it’s recommended you do it first thing in the morning because it will be most effective then. Our digestive system continues to work even when we’re sleeping, and removes toxins from our body and expels them on the surface of our tongue. If these toxins aren’t removed, the body can reabsorb them, which can lead to many problems and affect multiple systems, not to mention some nasty breath!

When scraping your tongue, try to focus on getting as far back as you can because it’s the posterior, or back part, that has the most build up. The tip of your tongue is able to cleanse itself since actions such as swallowing and talking require it to move against your hard palate on the top of your mouth and the back of your teeth. This makes it unlikely for the tip of your tongue to harvest too much odor-producing bacteria. However, the back of your tongue will touch only your soft palate, at best, which won’t create enough friction or contact to do any significant cleansing. That’s why when you open your mouth and look at your tongue, the back of it usually looks different than the front and with more “gunk.” Using a tongue scraper rather than a toothbrush when cleaning your tongue will help remove bacteria further back because you’re less likely to a trigger your gag reflex.

If something so simple and quick as tongue-scraping can help eliminate “dog breath,”  improve oral and overall health, why not try it out?! And we’d love to hear how it goes for you, so comment below!

dog tongue