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CAN YOU HANDLE THE TOOTH?

TIPS AND TRICKS TO KEEP THAT MOUTH IN GREAT SHAPE

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C’mon… tell the tooth here. Do you have a real clue how to keep that pie-hole in great shape? We’re talking teeth, breath, equipment, techniques, etc.  Do you even realize the major statement your mouth makes about you? We’re thinking you probably do… why else would you be reading this article?  Help us help you by regularly “chewing” on the following brushing and flossing steps.

BRUSH WITH GREATNESS

It all starts with the toothbrush. Chompers should be brushed at least twice daily, early AM and prior to bed ideally. Doing so will help eliminate the bacteria, germs and plaque that can cause decay and bad breath.  When brushing, don't rush. About two minutes should do the trick.

• Tools: Employ a toothpaste that contains fluoride (prevents tooth decay) and a soft-bristled toothbrush. The use of an electric toothbrush is often a bonus, as these tools can be more powerful (still gentle) and can really massage the gum area.

• Technique: The toothbrush (no matter the type) should be held at a slight angle against teeth and moved back-and-forth with short strokes. It’s very important to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of teeth and to not ignore the ‘ole tongue, which houses a ton of germs/bacteria.

• Buy Another: Invest in a new brush every couple of months or sooner if the bristles become damaged, you drop it in the toilet or it goes unprotected on the road.

FLOSS WITH FINESSE

Simple brushing isn’t enough to keep a mouth in check. A guy’s gotta’ floss as well to reach the tight spaces between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing is a lot like fungi… it grows on you. Initially, it’s a pain, but after a while it's simple and a joy (OK... that may be pushing it).

• Proper Length: Cleanly break off about 18 inches of floss (you get like a football field’s worth per box).

• Technique:Wind most of the floss around the pointer finger on one hand and the rest around a finger on the other hand — leaving about 1 inch or so to floss with. Use the thumbs and forefingers to gently pull the floss from the gum line to the top of the tooth, easily scraping off nasty plaque as you go. Rub the floss against all sides of each tooth, before unwinding to fresh floss.

OTHER ORAL OPTIONS

• Mouthwash: Antimicrobial or antiseptic mouth rinses are recommended daily to help reduce plaque and kill germs (which often lead to kicking breath). Not a substitute for daily brushing.

• Oral Irrigators/WaterPiks: Awkward-looking tool aims a strong stream of water at teeth/gums to help remove bacteria, while massaging and stimulating gums. An ideal solution for those with braces and other dental work that often causes flossing challenges.