Because let’s face it, “You shouldn’t neglect you gums.” Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman.
I am a huge believer in proper dental hygiene and the benefits it can have for your entire body. Not only does a healthy smile look great, but it makes you feel great too. (inside and out)
So, today I am going to walk you through the 5 steps I use to achieve and maintain a healthy smile!
Step 1. Brush your teeth!
This seems obvious, I know. But regularly brushing your teeth is imperative to having a clean, healthy mouth. Doctors recommend twice a day, (am and pm) but I’ll even brush my teeth after lunch if I have the chance.
Regular brushing helps prevent bacteria and plaque from forming on your teeth. Not only does plaque buildup cause bad breath and gum disease, but it can eventually travel into your bloodstream and increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Some studies have suggested that poor gum health can even increase your chances of dementia by 30% – 40%. So, don’t skip this important step! It only takes 3 minutes twice a day.
Step 2. Floss. Floss. Floss.
Doctors recommend flossing at least once a day, but I try to floss after every meal. I have small gaps between my teeth which create the perfect TRAP for food particles. But even if you do not have gaps in your teeth, flossing is essential if you want to maintain fresh breath and healthy gums.
Be sure to floss at least once a day to help remove any leftover food particles that simple brushing can not detect. Trust me, you’ll be amazed by what can hide along your gum line.
Step 3. Tongue Scraping
What exactly is it? Well it’s a fast and easy way to remove bacteria that can coat the top layer of your tongue. By using a small rounded device, typically made from plastic or metal you can remove that layer of white or yellow(ish) film that collects on the top layer of your tongue over time.
I like to scrape my tongue after brushing and flossing. It’s a great way to improve overall oral health and remove any odor-causing bacteria.
Step 4. Mouthwash / Waterpik
I recently purchased a Waterpik and absolutely love it. Briefly, it’s a device that pushes pressurized water out from a small handheld wand. You aim the Waterpik wand at your gum line and let the pressurized water gently rinse behind your teeth and gums. Not only does it feel great, but it will help you to maintain a healthy smile.
When filling the water tank, I use a combination of water and mouth rinse. It’s the perfect combination, and your mouth will feel so refreshed and clean when you’re finished. Click here for more info!
Step 5. Whitening Strips
We are all guilty of eating and drinking items that stain our teeth. Beverages like coffee, wine and tea take a toll on our pearly whites! But one way to remove these surface stains is by occasionally using whitening strips. They are affordable, easy to apply, and effective.
Personally, I use whitening strips every 10 or so days to prevent deep stains from setting in and to brighten my smile. When done correctly, the entire process will take about 30 minutes. Now that’s something to SMILE about!
You now have all of the info and tools needed for a healthy smile! So, start your journey today! Your teeth, gums, and body will thank you.
Author: Sarah Thomas-DrawbaughSarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a home cook, recipe developer and the creator of the brand, Healthyish®. Sarah believes that living Healthyish® is a lifestyle centered around the 80/20 rule. Her beliefs are directly reflected in her recipes which are mostly plant-based. (but sometimes not) Her work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital), Women’s Health Magazine (digital) and Mind Body Green. Sarah is a Pittsburgh, PA native but currently lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!