Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Especially when the cost of seemingly everything is skyrocketing around us, who doesn’t want to find ways to save money? Preventative dental care may seem expensive, but it’s nothing compared to the costs you may incur if you ignore your oral health over time. So our family dentist in the Royal Oak area is focusing today on oral hacks that can help you keep money in your pocket while maintaining your bright smile.
So hear us out: we’re not suggesting you skip your morning or nightly toothbrushing sessions here, but through the day, certain foods are known to help clean and clear debris from teeth. Pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth after lunch to help clear food debris from your teeth and stimulate saliva, which helps clean tooth surfaces. Other foods known for helping keep teeth clean between brushing sessions? Raw apples, celery and carrots.
Brush with baking soda
Baking soda is known for being an ingredient that’s included in effective, chemical-free household cleaners. But did you know you could brush your teeth with it, too? Have you noticed that many toothpaste companies are incorporating baking soda into their toothpaste ingredients? That’s because baking soda is known to remove stains and brighten teeth. It’s much cheaper than toothpaste; a box of baking soda costs around $1 and will last for a very long time. It can be a bit messy and certainly doesn’t have a minty taste straight out of the box — it also doesn’t contain necessary fluoride — but it’s effective and can even be incorporated a few times a week into your usual oral hygiene routine. If you switch to brushing frequently with baking soda, be sure you’re receiving fluoride from a source other than toothpaste.
Rinse with water
No toothbrush at work after your lunch break? No problem! A simple — and cost-free — swish of water immediately after eating removes food particles from the mouth and between the teeth. It also washes away bacteria and acids that beverages can leave on teeth. Repeat the rinse several times for maximum effectiveness.
Gargle with hydrogen peroxide
Okay, don’t go getting ahead of yourself; read this entire section before you go throwing back a swig of that brown-bottle liquid shoved in the back of your bathroom cabinet. But seriously: because of its antibacterial properties, hydrogen peroxide may offer several possible oral-health benefits, including reducing gum inflammation, when swished and gargled regularly. However, our Birmingham family dentists say this hack comes with a strong warning: never swallow. Using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash, while arguably a more effective disinfectant than commercial mouthwashes, can also, if done incorrectly, cause side effects and be associated with certain risks.
Here’s how to use it properly with minimal, if any, risk:
- Start with a typical 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide — the same kind you find in the brown bottle at any drug store. Combine one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts water so that the solution you’re gargling is 1% hydrogen peroxide.
- Gargle and swish a small mouthful of the mixture for 60 seconds (and never longer than 90 seconds).
- Spit the solution out.
Oral health hacks in Royal Oak and Birmingham, Michigan
Hacks for oral health — even if they save you money — are not intended to replace daily brushing and flossing and routine professional cleanings by our Royal Oak family dentists at Hartrick Dentistry. To schedule your cleaning today, call our office at (248) 712-1149 or contact us online.