If you're like just about every other guy in the world, going to the dentist isn't tops on your list. Even something as simple as a cleaning can elicit embarrassment ("How's the flossing going?") and pain (ohhh... bloody gums). But when it comes to caring for your teeth and lessening the intensity of those visits to Dr. Molar, you're in the driver's seat. By adhering to a modest oral hygiene plan, you can keep those chompers looking great and feel a bit more confident when "opening wide."
Marvis the Marvelous
Just as the drug-store brand shampoos or moisturizers may not be cutting it for your skin and hair, generic supermarket toothpaste brands may not be enough to keep chompers pristine. If that's the case, check out the Marvis Whitening Mint Toothpaste -- it's packed with fluoride to fight plaque and tartar to keep cavities at bay.
Follow up your brushing with a mouthwash to ensure that no plaque or odorous bacteria is left behind. It may be tempting on some days to simply swig with mouthwash in lieu of a good brushing, but mouthwash should be used as a complement to brushing and flossing to fight plaque, gum disease and bad breath. Alcohol-based mouthwashes are widely discouraged as they dry out the mouth and leave you susceptible to cavities, making them counter-intuitive. Marvis Mouthwash Concentrate is a peppermint mouthwash that fights cavities, gingivitis and bad breath.
Brushing one’s teeth becomes such a hardwired activity that little thought is given to how we’re doing it and if it’s as effective as it could be. Luckily, the American Dental Association offers guidelines, but if you don't feel like clicking on and reading another article, the gist is next:
Brush twice a day, for two minutes. Some new, electronic tooth brushes have timers built in, but for those who brush manually, you can keep track of time by using the timer on your phone. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and use gentle, circular strokes. Brushing too aggressively can wear down gums and negatively impact your teeth. Be sure to hit all the surfaces: inner, outer, and the heavy-traffic chewing areas. Tilt your brush vertically to reach behind teeth, moving the bristles up and down. Lastly, brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep breath fresh.
Bonus Tip: A toothbrush’s bristles wear down over time, rendering them less effective. Be sure to change your brush every three to four months
It seems there are two types of people in this world: people who admit to never flossing... and liars. As much of a pain in the gums as it may be, it's important to floss daily. Tooth-decaying bacteria set up camp between teeth and weaken gums over time. If string floss is too much of a hassle, consider investing in a Waterpik Water Flosser - they're easier on the gums, can reach areas regular floss can’t and are more effective for those who have braces or implants.
You can also contribute to proper oral hygiene by being mindful of what you eat and drink. The phosphoric acid and citric acid in soda, for example, weakens the enamel of your teeth, making them more vulnerable to cavities. Sugar intake can also be an issue, as it encourages bacterial growth. Bacteria leads to plaque and plaque is wack. Another strategy, albeit an unpopular one, is to limit your intake of drinks like coffee and red wine, which can stain and discolor your teeth.
There are, however, edible aids in the fight against plaque. Crisp, firm foods like apples, celery, strawberries, and carrots -- also known as “detergent foods” -- not only reduce plaque, but have the added benefit of being straight-up healthy.
A convenient way to keep teeth clean on the go is to carry a pack of sugar-free gum, it removes food residue and freshens breath. For additional insights, feel free to check out these articles by Healthline and Absolute Dental.