Top 10 Tips for Cleaner Teeth

Lisa Valadez | 10/7/2014, 9:05 a.m.
The month of October is national oral hygiene month.

A beautiful smile isn’t always a healthy smile. According to the American Dental Association, just over half of all Americans have at least one oral health problem. These issues can start when we’re young.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic illness among school-age children - and with good oral hygiene and regular dental care, it is almost entirely preventable.

“Taking care of your teeth is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your overall health,” says Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans, the leading provider of dental savings plans.

In recognition of National Oral Hygiene Month in October, :DentalPlans offers these tips for keeping your teeth in tip top shape so you can have a healthy smile.

  1. From the Mouth of Babes. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published new recommendations for children's oral care in August of 2014 stating as soon as those first teeth appear, children should start using fluoride toothpaste.

  2. An Apple a Day. Some foods help keep your mouth and gums clean: Celery, apples, green tea, and dairy products - generally food sources that are rich in vitamins A, C and D are healthy for your teeth.

  3. Grime Doesn’t Pay. Not brushing your teeth and avoiding the dentist can lead to a host of other health problems that are very costly: Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, oral and throat cancer, pneumonia, dangerous immune suppressing bacteria and other diseases have been connected to periodontal disease. If concerns about costs are causing you to avoid a dentist visit, a dental savings plan from can help.

  4. Don't Put a Lid on it. Where and how you store your toothbrush is important. American Dental Association says to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water to ensure the removal of toothpaste and debris, allow it to air-dry, and store it in an upright position. If multiple brushes are stored in the same holder, do not allow them to come into contact with each other.

  5. Scrubba Dub Dub? It would seem like scrubbing your teeth would ensure their cleanliness but harsh brushing can actually harm your gums and teeth. It’s best to use a soft to medium bristle toothbrush to brush the surface of your teeth and gums thoroughly but gently.

  6. Twice a Day will keep Tooth Decay Away. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) and visit the dentist for preventative and regular check-ups every six months.

  7. Floss and Gloss. Floss at least once per day between teeth where a brush can't reach.

  8. Sing a Song. Children may have a hard time recognizing the length of time they should be brushing so it can be helpful to give them a tool to help them. Suggest they sing two choruses of Mary had a Little Lamb before their tooth brushing time is complete.

  9. Don't Chug a Lug (on the Wrong Drinks!) Limit the quantity of soft drinks and sports drinks and instead choose healthy drinks like milk and water.

  10. Baby on Board is no time to Skip the Dentist. Many people think that becoming pregnant means skipping the dentist. Not true... Hormonal changes can have an impact on your dental health, and periodontal disease and decay can lead to problems such as an increased risk of pre-term birth or low birth weight.

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