Since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you want your teeth to be clean and white, like they were when you were a child or when you were in your 20s. I’m also going to assume that you’re having trouble making this happen because most people do. That’s where dental therapy comes in – if you follow these seven simple steps, you’ll be on your way to the smile of your dreams!
1) Get Your Teeth Cleaned
Cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly is paramount for good dental health. Make sure to visit your dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and professional teeth whitening. Remember, if you brush twice a day for two minutes each time, floss once daily, and schedule regular cleanings, you’ll be able to maintain strong pearly whites. Men’s Health Magazine recommends visiting your dentist at least once per year as well.
2) Brush Properly
Brushing properly is one of the most important things you can do to maintain good oral health. Proper brushing involves using an electric toothbrush with a soft-bristled brush head, then working your way around your mouth in circular motions while making sure not to miss any spots. To ensure proper coverage, it’s important that you brush each section at least two times per day, once in the morning and once before bed. [source]
3) Floss Daily
As gross as it may seem, flossing is an essential step in any dental therapy routine. If you’re not already doing so, make flossing a daily habit: You want to do it after every meal, and at least once before bed. It’s also smart to floss whenever your teeth feel gritty or you have food stuck between them—you don’t want those bits of food sitting in your teeth for long periods of time.
4) Use Mouthwash
If you’re looking for an easy way to start maintaining your oral health, mouthwash is perfect. There are two types of mouthwash: alcohol-based and non-alcoholic. Most commercial mouthwashes are alcohol-based, which kills bacteria on contact and can give you fresh breath immediately after using it. It’s important to remember that mouthwash is not an alternative for brushing or flossing, but it is effective in helping remove plaque between teeth and below gum lines.
5) Know When to See the Dentist
Generally, if you aren’t bleeding and there’s no puss coming out of your gums, it’s okay to wait until your next regular checkup. If your teeth are bothering you, however, or if you notice any of these signs of tooth decay, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
6) Watch What You Eat
Researchers from Ohio State University found that people who ate chocolate—specifically dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content—were less likely to experience tooth decay or gum disease. The higher percentage of cocoa, the better. (The study focused on adults, but it’s safe for kids, too.) You should be eating one ounce of dark chocolate for every 50 pounds you weigh daily.
7) Don’t Smoke
Not only is smoking bad for your health in general, but it can also leave you with stinky breath and dirty teeth. Find out more about dental hygiene by checking out Men’s Health’s Guide to Oral Care. Your dentist will thank you.