Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Secrets to a Healthier Brighter Smile Without Tooth Whiteners or Extra Trips to the Dentist

by heather

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am pretty OCD about brushing my teeth. Honestly, most of my life I have brushed several times each day. Despite this, I have a mouth full of fillings, have a tendency to get tarter build-up and have spent several thousand dollars on dental work. When I was younger, I remember a hygienist  telling me that it looked like I hadn’t had a check-up in years. “Thanks, check the chart. I was here 5 months ago.” My dentist decided that I have unusually high levels of minerals in my saliva, which results in increased tarter. At one point I was going in for cleanings every six weeks. And of course every time I went in they would talk to me like I was stupid and teach me how to brush and floss my teeth, like I hadn’t figured it out yet. Really, even a year and a half ago I was still getting this lecture. :S Finally I went to a dental hygienist that taught me a helpful routine. I thought “Wow, this is great. Why in the world has someone not taught me this before?” It’s a little time-consuming to go through this entire routine daily, but even doing this once a week makes a big difference. (But you may need to do it daily for awhile to get on top of plaque and tarter.) And good oral hygiene can improve your over-all health. This routine won’t get you immediately from yellow to dazzling white and it doesn’t replace routine dental check-ups, but it does make a huge difference in between check-ups.

  • Start with a dry toothbrush (toothpaste only). The dry stiffer bristles help to scrub off plaque. Brush all tooth and gum surfaces, cheekside and tongue side. Do this twice a day.
  • Every evening before brushing, floss. Wrap floss around each individual tooth, slide up and down, firmly.
  • Don’t skip any areas that may be tender. If there are tender areas brush with a toothbrush softened in hot water.
  • After flossing and brushing, soften toothbrush with hot water. Then dip toothbrush in Listerine and massage with bristles directed at the gum line, moving only 1/2 a tooth width at a time. Massage all surfaces. You are planting and massaging, not brushing.
  • Rinse with Listerine for 30 seconds. Do not swish with water afterwards. You want the Listerine to stay on your gums and teeth for as long as possible, to effectively kill germs.
  • Don’t forget to brush you tongue for fresher breath.

Since I have started doing this I haven’t had any cavities, minimal tarter, only routine check-ups and no more scaling and planings. (If you don’t know what a scaling and planing is, count yourself lucky.) And my tooth brushing has normalised to two or three times a day.

2 Responses to “Secrets to a Healthier Brighter Smile Without Tooth Whiteners or Extra Trips to the Dentist”

  1. Kim says:

    I am so going to try this – I ALWAYS have to have scaling and planings (uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh) and I detest it. Thanks~

  2. Heather says:

    I hear you on the scaling and planings. No me gusta. I hope this method helps you out.

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