If you enjoy going to the dentist, congratulations on being a rarity. For most of us, the dentist is a necessary but mostly unenjoyable chore we have to endure to keep our teeth and gums healthy and our smiles dazzling.
However, a trip to the dentist can be made infinitely better if we’re willing to put in the hard work at home in between appointments. After all, it’s mostly the tutting at our lack of flossing and the uncomfortable targeting of inflamed gums that make us delay coming back to the dentist’s chair in the first place.
We know dental care and overall mouth hygiene isn’t usually the most glamorous beauty topic, but these days there are plenty of gadgets and helpful at-home products that can make taking care of your teeth and gums a breeze – hell, even a delight.
So make your dentist proud by trying out some of these at-home teeth tips and products.
#1 Upgrade your toothbrush
Whether you’re a total electric toothbrush convert or a traditionalist who sticks by a manual design – when was the last time you changed it? The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends switching to a new toothbrush (or toothbrush head) every three months.
If budget allows, we’d recommend considering an upgrade while you’re at it. Toothbrushes can do a lot more than just brush these days. The Oral-B GENIUS 9000 White, for example, pairs with an app to guide you on how long you should brush in each area and even flashes red when too much pressure is applied.
If you prefer a classic-shaped toothbrush head, the FOREO ISSA 2 is also a great pick. The combination of medical-grade silicone and PBT polymer bristles ensures gentle brushing, with your choice of 16 adjustable speeds.
#2 Try a water flosser
Flossing is an extremely important part of a daily dental routine. It not only helps to remove food, plaque and bacteria from hard-to-reach areas, but in doing so it helps to reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
So how come so many of us don’t do it?
According to the Huffington Post, only five per cent of Australians floss their teeth regularly. Yikes.
If you find it hard to stick to a routine using traditional nylon floss (or perhaps you find your gums just bleed and you give up quicker!), consider investing in a water flosser.
We’re big fans of the Waterpik Black Cordless Select Water Flosser ($179.95 at Chemist Warehouse). The cordless design makes it really easy to maneuver and the two water pressure settings provide an effective deep clean in every nook and cranny. It comes with multiple different heads and you can even use it in the shower if you’re so inclined.
#3 Remove stains
If tooth decay and gum disease won’t do it for you, perhaps the prospect of whiter, brighter teeth will.
At-home whitening has become infinitely better in recent years, with more options for both instant results and easy daily use that will make a big difference.
Aside from cutting down on coffee, wine and other stain-inducing foods and liquids, adding a whitening mouthwash into your dental routine will help to ward off discolouration and protect the teeth. We like the iWhite Instant Whitening Mouthwash for rinsing after brushing, as it also helps to prevent plaque formation and contains fluoride to strengthen teeth while it whitens.
If you’re after an at-home one-use wonder in the lead up to a special event, we’d recommend trying the Hismile PAP+ Teeth Whitening Kit. The PAP+ formula (phthalimidoperoxycaproic acid, hydroxyapatite and potassium citrate) is dispensed into mouth trays, which are attached to an LED device for a 10 minute total whitening treatment.
#4 Get straighter teeth without braces
If the idea of braces has you putting off your quest for straighter teeth, consider trying clear aligners.
The Invisalign Treatment, for example, is a virtually invisible way to gradually move teeth into the desired position. And the best part is you’ll still able to brush and floss to your fullest, as they can be removed as and when needed.
#5 Fight off bad breath
Even if you abide by the golden rules of brushing and flossing, bad breath can still happen.
A common cause of bad breath is bacteria hiding in the tongue and back of the throat. Taking the time to rinse and gargle thoroughly with a mouthwash can help you reach these sources and maintain that fresh, just-brushed breath for longer. We like the
Oral-B Clinical Mouth Rinse because it’s alcohol free, meaning you don’t experience that burning feeling that’s synonymous with other mouthwashes.
If you’ve noticed the smell of your breath more from mask-wearing, you’re not alone. When it comes to reusable masks, it’s best to wash after every use for hygiene as well as to dispel breath smell.
However, if you’re after a genius on-the-go solution, try Sensori+ FRESHIELD™ Mask Sanitiser Byron Bay Breeze 2481. The handy spray not only eliminates 99.9 per cent of bacteria from your mask, but it’ll help banish that breath smell too. Genius.
Main image credit: Getty
Have you been taking care of your teeth at home? Have you tried any of the above products or tips?