Stop Bad-Mouthing Yourself
Neglect daily care of your mouth and you put yourself at risk for real oral health issues.
Your regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing routine is a good foundation for a healthy mouth, but some areas need more love than others. Target these top problem spots to safeguard your smile — and your life.
Problem Spot: Between your back teeth (top and bottom)
Reason: It’s where you do most of your chewing.
Quick Fix: Instead of a straight up-and-down flossing motion, wrap the floss around each tooth, slide it just under the gum, and then floss like you would shine a shoe, says Craig Valentine, D.M.D., of the Academy of General Dentistry.
Problem Spot: The inside of your bottom lip
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Reason: Nervous lip biting may trigger canker sores, but the cause is usually viral.
Quick Fix: Use Colgate’s Orabase with benzocaine, which was voted the best treatment by members of the American Pharmacists Association.
Problem Spot: The gum that surrounds both your top left canine tooth and the premolar behind it…click & see
Reason: The top canines are your most prominent teeth, so they take extra abuse from brushing. (Righties will do more harm to the left tooth.)
Quick Fix: Brush gently and in only one direction — from the gum down to the bottom of the tooth.
Problem Spot: Your tongue
Reason: Its location makes it more susceptible to toxins such as cigarette smoke.
Quick Fix: Ban smoke from your body and eat more avocados. Ohio State University researchers found that chemical compounds in avocados may reduce the risk of oral cancer.
Problem Spot: The two bottom teeth in the front and center.
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Reason: They’re closest to your salivary glands, and a protein in saliva has been shown to promote plaque buildup.
Quick Fix: Snack on raisins; they contain phytochemicals that block plaque from latching onto your teeth, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Do more for your mouth: Researchers from Case Western University found that regular exercise and a healthful diet may cut your risk of gum disease by up to 29 percent.