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5 Ways to Step Up Your Oral Hygiene Game

Brush, floss, rinse, repeat. Maintaining your oral health seems pretty basic, right? It turns out there's a lot more that you can do to keep your breath fresh, your gums healthy and your teeth white and bright. Check out these 5 things that you probably aren’t doing to step up your oral hygiene game.

1. Watch what you eat. Coffee, tea, red wine, smoking and even colas and dark juices can stain your teeth. Brush after enjoying them or skip them in favor of natural teeth whiteners, like strawberries. Sports drinks can also discolor your teeth and contain sugar and acid, which aid in tooth decay. Drink water to hydrate when you’re active.

2. Brush correctly. You may want to give up your manual brush in favor of an electronic toothbrush (just be sure to change the head every 2-3 months). Also be sure to brush in a circular motion, for at least two minutes. Allow the brush to air dry to avoid breeding bacteria.

3. Try a tongue scraper to help freshen your breath. Some toothbrushes have a tongue scraper and you can also find the handy tools sold separately. A tongue scraper can get rid of some of the bacteria that builds up and causes bad breath.

4. Rinse with a mouth rinse recommended by your dentist. If you have dry mouth, then avoid products that contain Listerine—you don’t need the burn that further dries out your natural saliva. Other products can be found to help reduce white spots and other dental concerns.

5. Crisp foods, including apples, carrots, and celery can help to clean teeth. If you’re not planning on brushing your teeth right after eating, finishing a meal with them can help keep your mouth clean between brushings.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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