Whether it’s financial struggles, a tight schedule, or a pandemic holding you back, there are plenty of ways to care for your dental health without ever leaving the house. Let’s explore how.
1. Brush Twice Daily
Maintaining proper oral hygiene requires more than just brushing your teeth in the morning. General recommendations are to brush twice daily—once in the morning and once in the evening––for no less than two minutes each time. Using a gentle, circular motion, aim your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle towards your gum line and use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush your front teeth and outer surfaces of your teeth. Next, brush the molars and chewing surfaces to get rid of stuck food particles and plaque. Finally, brush your tongue and spit out any remnants of toothpaste, food, saliva, and water. Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush once every three to four months to avoid the bristles from fraying.
2. Floss Daily
Research shows flossing is a vital step in maintaining proper oral hygiene. In fact, studies have shown that of more than 1,000 types of bacteria found in dental plaque, brushing is not sufficient enough to tackle the issue alone. Flossing removes plaque buildup between the teeth and gums that a traditional toothbrush simply can’t reach, and you should prioritize it at least once daily. Whether you use traditional string floss, floss picks, or water flossers is up to you. The important thing is that you remember to do it.
3. Make an Appointment With an Online Dentist
Even if you can’t leave your house or make time for an in-person visit, frequent check-ins with a dentist are still important. Check to see if your regular dentist offers telehealth appointments, or research online dentistry options to stay on top of checkups. Even if the dentist can’t manually clean and check your teeth, he or she can ask questions and virtually assess your dental needs or make recommendations for specific health concerns. Several dental practices offer first-time virtual visits for free, so browse online options for the online dentist that makes the most sense for you and your family.
4. Drink Water
Most of us know how important staying hydrated is for our physical health. H2O lovers should be happy to know it’s good for their teeth, too. Most areas of the United States include fluoride in water, which fights cavities and keeps teeth strong. Additionally, drinking water washes away food, bacteria, and residue that cause disease, and it keeps your mouth moist to fight against tooth decay. Most people benefit from at least eight cups of water per day, but your needs may differ based on age, activity levels, and other health variables such as pregnancy.
5. Use Mouthwash
Using an antiseptic mouthwash not only gives you minty-fresh breath, but it also helps ward off plaque, gingivitis (a disease that causes gum inflammation), germs, and tooth decay. It’s not recommended for children under the age of 6 who may swallow alcohol-based mouthwashes. There are several mouthwash options with a variety of ingredients, so it’s best to talk to your dentist about the right options for you and your family.
6. Limit Sugar Intake
Your parents weren’t kidding when they warned candy is bad for teeth. Consuming high-sugar foods and beverages prompts harmful bacteria to produce acids in your mouth that destroy protective tooth enamel. Over time, as enamel weakens and the teeth become compromised, cavities form. For this reason, keep high-sugar foods and drinks like candy, ice cream, baked goods, juice, and soda to a minimum in your diet to protect oral health.
7. Opt for Sugar-Free Gum
The American Dental Association recommends chewing gum as a way to increase saliva flow in the mouth, providing protection against dental erosion. However, in order for the pros to outweigh the cons, experts recommend opting for sugar free gum over sugar-laden brands. Look for varieties sweetened with stevia, sugar alcohols, or other sugar substitutes to capitalize on the benefits of chewing gum for oral hygiene.
8. Avoid Tobacco
Health consequences of smoking and using tobacco products are generally well-known. When it comes to oral health, however, it’s more than yellowing teeth and tooth decay that tobacco users must consider. Smoking and tobacco use can also cause oral cancer, mouth lesions, and other types of dangerous periodontal diseases. If you smoke or use tobacco products and are concerned about oral hygiene, take steps to cut out the habit.
9. Limit Coffee and Tea
For many of us, a hot cup of coffee or tea is a necessary vice to get through the day. Unfortunately, your favorite latte may have more health implications than you realize. Aside from sugars in your favorite caffeinated beverage, coffees and teas have tannins—ingredients that stick to and stain teeth. If you’ve ever struggled with yellow teeth despite proper oral hygiene, experiment with cutting down on tannin-rich beverages in your diet.
10. Use an Online Clear Braces Service
Online dentistry isn't exclusive to everyday dental hygiene. Online clear braces services offer people options if they have dental concerns specific to teeth anatomy and structure. From overbites and gaps to crowding and crookedness, online clear braces offer a solution for those who don’t wish to step foot in a dental chair.
Give Yourself a Reason To Smile
Even if you can’t leave the house, there are many ways to care for your teeth and smile without seeing a dentist in person. Now more than ever before, it’s possible to prioritize oral health from the comforts of your own home.
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