If you’ve heard it once, then you’ve heard it a thousand times: brush and floss your teeth regularly! You know this quintessential oral health tip like the back of your hand. So, what else can you do to improve your smile?
Our smiles stay with us throughout our lives. We want to help them stay healthy, strong, and bright. Today, we’re going to share a few quick tips that will keep your pearly whites shiny for years to come:
Using toothpaste without fluoride is like washing dishes without soap: you can do it, but it’s simply not as effective.
Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens enamel and makes teeth more resistant to acid. You can find it in toothpaste, mouthwash, and tap water. The benefits are too good to pass up, so make sure that your tooth-care products contain fluoride.
Avoid Teeth-Staining Drinks
Everything you eat affects your teeth, from sweet treats to sugary drinks. But why is it that some of our favourite beverages happen to be the worst for our teeth? Examples include:
- Coffee and black tea
- Red wine
- Sports drinks
You’ve decided to cut teeth-staining foods out of your diet. But the problem is sticking to it. Here’s our advice: whenever you cut something out of your life, you need to replace it. Otherwise, it’s too easy to slip back into old habits.
So, if you’re trying to give up coffee, wine, or cola, you have to find something else to drink instead. That brings us to our next tip:
Increase Your Water Intake
Water is amazing for your teeth. It washes away leftover foods and acids, prevents dry mouth, and it’s sugar-free! Drinking more water leads to a healthier, cleaner smile.
We know that for students, life can be a bit unpredictable. Your schedule is constantly changing; one week, you’re bogged down with exams, and the next, you’re on spring break.
It’s hard to keep a routine with such a fast-paced lifestyle. So, how are you supposed to drink 2 litres of water a day? We’ve put together a few tips to help you stick to it:
- Buy a 1-litre water bottle. Aim to drink 2 full bottles each day, and try to refill it in the middle of your day.
- Set reminders on your phone that prompt you to drink water.
- Whenever you drink something other than water, aim to have a glass of water as well.
Replace Your Toothbrush
You can use your toothbrush for a long time—but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Even if the bristles are intact, we suggest you change your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
And if you’ve been sick recently, throw away your old toothbrush ASAP. This ensures that lingering bacteria won’t stick around (or spread to other toothbrushes nearby).
Check In On Your Smile
It’s important to check in with yourself. Each day, try to set aside some time to ask yourself: how’s my mental health doing? How does my body feel? And what about my teeth?
At a glance, it’s tough to detect problems with our smile. We usually only find out that we have a cavity once it starts to hurt. But a dentist can spot these issues ahead of time, and prevent them from worsening.
At UDental, our dentists keep your teeth in top shape. Contact our UofA dental clinic today to schedule your appointment!