The Truth About Your Smile

Most of us get surprisingly little education about caring for our teeth. Our parents teach us to brush, and if we are lucky, we get a guest lecture in grade school on the proper brushing technique. And a small percentage of us have dental insurance and talk to a dentist every once in a while. But most people develop oral hygiene habits early in life and stick with them for decades, while science comes up with new findings that contradict conventional wisdom. In other words, you’re doing it wrong. Molly Beauchemin, a “health nerd,” brings us some tips for taking care of our choppers that may surprise you. Who knew you’re supposed to rinse your mouth after drinking acidic beverages, but not after brushing your teeth? And there’s more.

4.) Floss More, Brush Less

A dentist in Virginia once told me about this experiment: go 4-5 days without flossing, then floss. After you floss, ball the string up in your hand and smell it. You will never go without flossing again.

The moral of the story is this: the worst bacteria that causes bad breathe and cavities lingers near our gum line and flossing is the only way to get them out. Luckily, its actually a lot easier to knock plaque off our teeth than we think, so flossing followed by a light brush is sufficient to keep your mouth squeaky clean. In fact, some dentists suggest that if you had a choice between flossing or brushing you'd be better off just flossing. It's that important. As my best friend's father—a dentist—once told me: “floss more, brush less”.

Truly, dental floss is your friend in the long run. Beauchemin even addresses electric toothbrushes in the comments. Read a surprisingly interesting article about teeth at The Hairpin. -via Digg

(Image credit: Brianne Burnell)

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