We’ve all been urged since we were young to build and maintain strong oral hygiene habits. Of course, brushing and flossing regularly is crucial to keeping your mouth healthy, but there are some extra things that most people haven’t heard of that you can do throughout the day that also promote strong, healthy teeth and gums.
Eat foods that scrub
Foods that are firm or crisp help to clean the teeth as they’re eaten. Maintain healthy teeth on the go by enjoying apples, carrots, celery, and unsweetened popcorn. For best results, make these “detergent” foods the final course in your meal.
Drink a cup of tea
Flavonoids in tea help to prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth, and also block production of a type of sugar that contributes to cavities. Tea also contains high amounts of fluoride which strengthens teeth.
Hydrate your mouth
Drink a glass of water for every hour that you’re at work. The more water you drink, the more bacteria you flush off your teeth and out of your mouth, which means less risk of gum disease, fewer cavities, and fresher breath.
Buy cinnamon-flavored gums
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found that cinnamon-flavored chewing gum reduces bacteria in the mouth. The reason is because the gum contains cinnamic aldehyde (the compound that gives cinnamon it’s flavour and colour), a plant essential oil that inhibits the growth of cavity causing bacteria.
Chew gum with xylitol
If you want to reduce the bad bacteria in your mouth, you should be all over xylitol. Xylital is a natural sugar substitute. Look for it (and for the ADA stamp) on the packages of your sugar-free gum. A few pieces a day changes the chemistry of your mouth and can help keep cavities away. The chewing motion also promotes saliva production, which rinses away bacteria.
Eat calcium-rich foods
Your teeth constantly go through the process of demineralization and remineralization. Calcium foods, such as Low-fat dairy products, fortified soy and rice beverages, canned salmon or sardines (with bones), almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables provide the minerals needed for your teeth to rebound.