9 Simple tricks to keep teeth problems at bay

4 min read

9 Simple tricks to keep teeth problems at bay
Wondering how to keep your pearly whites pearly and white? Here are nine simple tips for keeping your teeth healthy

Use an extract on that sore tooth

The pain from your sore tooth is so bad you're ready to tie one end of a string around it and the other around a doorknob and slam the door shut. Hang on.
Before you destroy that beautiful grin, put a couple of drops of oil of clove on a cotton ball, put the cotton ball over your sore tooth, and bite down. Hold for several minutes. This elixir made from the dried, unopened flower buds of the tropical clove tree is a great multitasker when it comes to tooth pain—numbing the pain and killing bacteria and other germs that could make whatever’s causing the pain worse. You can do the same thing with vanilla extract.
After three or four minutes of biting down, spit out the cotton ball and swish 6 ounces water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon salt and several drops of the extract in your mouth for 30 seconds. This will kill more bacteria. Spit—don’t swallow. This solution is only temporary, however; make an appointment with your dentist to see what’s causing the pain.

Chew gum to prevent cavities

Chewing gum used to cause cavities, but these days it can actually prevent them. Just make sure your gum contains xylitol, says Dr Mary Hardy. Not only does the gum chewing help maintain saliva flow to flush away bacteria, but studies find that it makes bacteria less likely to adhere to your teeth.
"You may want to avoid gum altogether if you have  reconstructive dental work"
You may want to avoid gum altogether, however, if you have bridges, crowns, veneers, or other reconstructive dental work; the constant chewing may help loosen the materials. 

Another tooth-friendly chewing gum

Next time you’re in the checkout line at the grocery store, toss a few packs of Big Red chewing gum onto the counter. The spicy cinnamon gum contains the ingredient cinnamic aldehyde, a plant oil that keeps nasty bacteria from growing, helping reduce cavities and gum infections.
Don’t like cinnamon? You can get similar results with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Gum and gum made from the tree bark pycnogenol (available in health food stores).

Brew a pot of tea for oral health

It’s the second most commonly drunk beverage on the planet (second only to water), yet tea gets a bad rap when it comes to your teeth because the tannins in tea can stain. We say, fuggedaboutit.
Herbal tea
With all the great tooth bleaching tools out there, today you can have your tea and drink it too. That’s a good thing, since studies find that tea drinkers have fewer dental cavities, while rinsing with green tea after brushing can reduce overall plaque and the risk of gum disease.

Floss, floss, and then floss again

Sure, it’s something you tell your dentist you do, but deep inside you know it’s been at least three years since you bought that unopened container of dental floss gathering dust at the bottom of your bathroom drawer. Well, it’s time to pull it out.
"Pull out the floss and use it after every meal and before bed"
Study after study confirms that having gum disease significantly increases your risk of not only tooth loss but also heart disease, and flossing can prevent gum disease. Diseased gums apparently release high levels of compounds that increase inflammation—everywhere in your body. So pull out the floss, toss it into your purse or pocket, and use it after every meal and before bed.

Try this new way to floss

Admit it—you’d rather clean under your fingernails with a scalpel than floss your teeth. What if we told you about a tool that’s easier to use and works better than regular dental floss at reducing plaque and gum inflammation?
Woman flossing her teeth
It’s true—researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine compared flossing with BrushPicks (which have a narrow, three-sided blade at one end, and a probe with six bristles at the other end) with regular dental floss and found the “cleaning aid” was significantly better than the old-fashioned floss.

Avoid hidden sugar sources

You choose apples over apple pie, carrots over caramels and water over soda, but what about those hidden sources of sugar?
"Sugar lurks everywhere, including antacid tablets, cough drops, liquid medications, and chewable tablets"
Like a spy, cavity-contributing sugar lurks everywhere, including antacid tablets, cough drops, liquid medications, and chewable tablets, including vitamins. The sugar content of these over-the-counter preparations is particularly high in children’s versions, and research shows they contribute to dental cavities.
What to do? Your dentist won’t tell you, but we will: Brush your teeth after chewing a couple of antacids or sucking a throat lozenge, just as you’d do after that piece of apple pie.

Swallow, don't chew, your vitamin C

Yes, they’re as big as horse pills, but swallowing vitamin C supplements could save your teeth. Chewing them significantly increases the acidity of your saliva, which, combined with the high sugar content in the tablets, can really do a number on your tooth enamel.

Use an electric toothbrush

Put a little spin in your morning routine with an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one. A review of 21 studies over the past 37 years found less dental plaque and gum disease in people who used the battery-powered tools.
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