- Eat a balanced diet without excessive sweets. As far back as the 1940s, researchers like Weston A. Price observed the role of nutrition in dental and physical health. Price was one of the first to conclude that “foods of commerce,” such as flour, sugar, and processed food products cause nutritional deficiencies (especially in vitamins and minerals) that result in dental and general health problems.
- Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco products.
- Brush at least twice daily–after breakfast and before bedtime. Floss daily. Brush the tongue (or use one of my favorite oral hygiene tools, a tongue cleaner). Replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Chew sugarless gum (xylitol sweetened, not artificially sweetened) between meals, especially if you cannot brush teeth. Chewing helps dislodge foods between the teeth and increases saliva flow to neutralize mouth acids.
- Schedule regular dental visits, usually every six months.
What’s your favorite oral hygiene tip? Share in the comments below!
(1) Simple Steps to Better Dental Health. “Eight Steps to Dental Health.” Updated June 27, 2014.
American Heart Association. “Dental Health and Heart Health.” Updated December 20, 2013.
Case Western Reserve University. “Joint Failures Potentially Linked to Oral Bacteria.” ScienceDaily. April 18, 2012.
Live Science. “How Oral Hygiene Affects the Rest of You.” October 4, 2013.
Témoin, S., A. Chakaki, et.al. “Identification of Oral Bacterial DNA in Synovial Fluid of Patients with Arthritis with Native and Failed Prosthetic Joints.” Journal of Clinical Rheumatology 18, no. 3 (April 2012): 117-121.
The Weston A. Price Foundation. “Nutrition, Fluoridation, and Dental Health.” April 28, 2014.