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6 At-Home Hygiene Tips to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

An older couple brushing their teeth together

Rinse To Prevent Bacteria Build-Up

A minute of rinsing with plain, warm water after every meal or snack can help remove debris between your teeth. Food debris mingles with oral bacteria, dental plaque and saliva in your mouth to create tartar, which requires a professional cleaning to safely remove.

Clean Between Your Teeth

Consider interdental products such as powered air or water flossers, or small interdental brushes designed to clean between teeth to step up your dental hygiene routine. This is especially important if you don’t like flossing or forgot to stock up on dental floss.

Try Therapeutic Mouthwashes

Think about using an antibacterial mouth rinse to help control bacteria that may lead to dental decay and gum disease. Look for one that has antiseptic properties. If you have oral health issues such as gingivitis, call your dentist to see if there’s a particular product you should use – some require prescriptions.

Boost Beneficial Bacteria

Some of the bacteria in your mouth helps your breath stay fresh, improves digestion and may even protect against dental decay by stimulating saliva flow that helps keep your mouth clean and healthy. Eating foods that contain beneficial bacteria (also known as probiotics), such as yogurt, kefir and fermented items, can help increase good bacteria.

Clean Your Tongue

Remove the bacteria and food particles that reside on your tongue by brushing it gently with your (soft) toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

Disinfect Your Toothbrush

To keep your toothbrush free of germs and bacteria, try a 30 second dip in an antibacterial mouthwash, or dissolve 2 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 cup of water and soak the toothbrush for several minutes. 

Remember, while meticulous at home dental hygiene can go along way for protecting teeth, seeing a dentist twice a year for professional care is still a must. If regular dental care seems unaffordable, dental savings plans can help reduce the cost of care by 10-60%, including savings on many emergency, restorative and preventive procedures.

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