Keeping your gums and teeth clean is a lifetime chore, and it is, to be honest, a very boring chore. No amount of happy models and actors, beaming in cheerful commercials, or any over-optimistic Spokane Valley dentist, can make dental care glamorous or exciting. Brushing has become a kind of penance we pay, to avoid a future with a toothless grin. Here are some life hacks to help ease the burden of lifelong dental care and maintenance.
Brush in Front of the TV
You need to brush for at least two minutes for clean teeth. This isn’t even proper brushing for some hygienists. Some people find teeth brushing meditative, counting each stroke, but most can’t get it over with fast enough. To ensure you brush your teeth for more than the minimum required duration, brush while doing something else, like watching TV or reading an article online. Keeping yourself distracted while performing mechanical tasks, makes it less boring.
Aim to Floss Just One Tooth
Nobody wants to floss, and those who do, are able to accomplish daily flossing with herculean will power. Unfortunately, will power is in short supply, as your dentist remind you at the end of your check-up. Studies on habit formation show that you cannot rely on motivation to create good habits. But people who start small, and quickly reward themselves, are more successful at establishing good habits in their routines. It might be flossing or exercising, the trick is to start small. So begin by flossing just one tooth, then pat yourself on the back.
A Sprinkle of Baking Soda
You might know this one already, but it’s still worth mentioning. For a quick whitening scrub before a date, sprinkle some baking soda on your toothpaste before brushing. If baking soda can take out blemishes off your silver, it can do the same for your teeth. For an intense bleach, make baking soda paste with a bit of water and scrub it directly on your teeth with a clean finger. This is very abrasive and should not be done too often.
Eat an Apple
Forget the mint, if you have bad breath and need to make a presentation or need to rush to a meeting, bite into an apple for a quick fix. Apples have antibacterial properties and the hard, crunchy texture of the fruit scrapes off plaque. You are killing the bacteria that causes bad breath when you eat an apple, rather than just masking bad smell with a mint. This trick also works with radish, although most people would rather bite into an apple than a radish.
Use a Kid’s Toothbrush
It’s difficult to reach the back of the mouth with an adult toothbrush. Even ergonomically designed toothbrushes, with a bend on the tip, can’t really get some pockets of plaque. Save yourself money and buy a soft and tiny child’s toothbrush. These precious, little tools hit the spot for those hard to reach places. For sensitive areas close to the gums, use a cotton bud.