Brushing your teeth is only a small part of good oral hygiene. To preserve your pearly whites, you’ll also need to take additional measures towards protecting your enamel and fighting off gum disease. Here are just four habits that can help.

Eat the Right Foods

You’re probably aware that things like sugar and citrus are bad for your teeth, but you should also pay attention to what’s good for them. Celery, for example, is considered “nature’s floss” because of its fibrous strands. You can also add more milk and cheese to your diet to naturally increase the calcium levels of your teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to chips and breaks.

Use Coconut Oil as Mouthwash

This might sound like a holistic fad, but there’s actual research to back up the benefits of oil pulling for oral hygiene. Simply put, the oil can “pull” bacteria off your teeth when you swish it around for 10-20 minute intervals. Since it’s a liquid, it can also reach those hard-to-floss areas in the back of your mouth. Oil can be used to supplement or even replace traditional mouthwash, so don’t be afraid to try it.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Saliva production is good for your teeth because it keeps leftover food debris from building up in your mouth and between your teeth. It’s also helpful for neutralizing some of the acids found in plaque. Chewing gum is one of the easiest ways to stimulate your saliva, but make sure that you buy the right kind: You’ll want something containing xylitol, a sugar alternative that won’t encourage cavities and has even been suggested to strengthen tooth enamel.

Buy Disposable Straws

Between the sugar, acid and carbonation, many of your favorite store-bought beverages are absolutely terrible for your teeth. If you aren’t ready to give them up, however, you can at least limit their damage by drinking them through a straw. You’ll prevent any contact with your enamel, but your tongue will still get to enjoy their flavors. As a bonus, you’ll also be protecting your mouth from the dyes and corn syrups that come in things like juice and soda.

These are just a few oral hygiene habits that you might consider adding to your routine. There are also many dental services, like those from Tijeras Dental Services, that you can utilize to make your smile even brighter. At the end of the day, you should do whatever it takes to feel confident in your smile.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.