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Maintaining a beautiful smile is a lifelong project. In this article, we collected 10 tips to improve your oral health. Apply these in your daily habits for a healthy smile.

1. Mouthwash

Mouthwash is awesome, it gets to places where dental floss or a toothbrush simply cannot, on account of being a liquid, and neutralizes bacteria all over the mouth. Make sure that you are using an alcohol-free one though, as alcoholic mouthwash can do more harm than good, as it dries up the mucous membranes.

2. You MUST floss!

Flossing is not optional, it is not overzealous oral health activity, it is an absolute basic requirement, and must be done if you are to avoid cavities. If you find it difficult, use floss sticks or an interdental toothbrush, but you MUST clean between your teeth.

3. Don’t brush so hard

We usually find that patients brush too hard and for too little time. Make sure you gently brush your teeth, so as to not harm the enamel, and make sure you brush for at least two minutes at a time, going over each area several times before calling it quits. Floss first, brush later and then use mouthwash for better oral health.

4. Wait for a little before brushing

Brushing your teeth should be the last thing you do at night, and you should wait for at least half an hour after you have eaten or had anything sugary or acidic to drink before brushing, as the enamel is weakened by eating and by sugar. If you brush before, you may end up hurting your tooth enamel.

5. SLS free toothpaste

SLS is an ingredient commonly found in pastes of all sorts, and toothpaste also tends to have this material in it. This additive doesn’t do much for oral health, as it is just in there to make the consistency different, but it does cause cancer sores, so try and get toothpaste that is SLS-free.

6. Drink more water!

You need water in order to hydrate your mouth, as this is the best way that your mouth can fight off bacteria, by being properly lubricated. Saliva production is also necessary, as saliva has antibacterial properties and the gums also need lots of water to function properly and protect your teeth. Aside from this, certain foods and drinks like berries, coffee, or tea require you to drink more water, as they can easily stain the tooth surfaces, and by drinking water you are soaking the staining agents off before they dry and bond with your tooth enamel.

7. Sugar-free life

Try and eat less sugar or no sugar at all if possible. Aside from feeding harmful bacteria with it, sugar is bad for a number of other reasons as well, as it can cause diabetes, high blood pressure and is an addictive substance, after all.

8. Change your toothbrush!

Some people say 3 months, some people say 6-8 weeks, some people say 3 times a year, the point is, you need to change your toothbrush fairly frequently. Bacteria start to colonize your toothbrush, and each brushing makes it less and less effective. The best way to tell if you need a new toothbrush is to see how far the bristles stick out; if they stick out at all, and are bent in any way, you should get a new one.

9. Vitamins

Proper nutrition is very important. But aside from the things you don’t eat, there are a couple of vitamins you need to keep your teeth healthy. These are A, D3, and K2. Make sure you eat plenty of these.

10. Dairy

Unsweetened dairy products like milk, hard cheese, yogurt and kefir, or ayran are great for your teeth. They are mildly antibacterial, promote the growth of healthy intestinal flora, and have a bunch of minerals and building blocks of healthy enamel. They also coat the teeth in a layer of mineral-rich film which binds to the teeth and replacing minerals lost from your tooth enamel.

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