3 Low-Effort Ways To Take Better Care Of Your Teeth

Brush twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist for checkups. Those are the key components of good dental care and oral hygiene. But if you're just barely following these recommendations, you may not be doing as well with your oral hygiene as you could. No, that does not mean you need to set aside an extra hour or even half hour a day for tooth care. Rather, there are a few low-effort ways you can take better care of your teeth.

1. Change your brush more often.

Even if your toothbrush still looks like it's in good shape, you should replace it at least every three months. There are two reasons for this. For one, the bristles start to get frayed at the ends, and this makes them less effective. (And no, the fraying is not always visually obvious until it gets really bad.) Also, toothbrushes tend to hold onto more bacteria once they get worn and start fraying, and you don't want to keep introducing those bacteria to your mouth every time you brush. If you have trouble remembering to change your toothbrush, buy a big pack of them to keep under your sink, and set a reminder in your phone to change it.

2. Leave some fluoridated toothpaste in your mouth before bed.

Most people are in the habit of brushing their teeth and then rinsing their mouths out. If you can bear to do so, you should actually spit the toothpaste out without rinsing -- especially when you brush right before you go to bed. This allows some of the fluoride in the toothpaste to remain on the surface of your teeth, which leads to stronger enamel over time. Stronger enamel means fewer cavities.

3. Make smarter beverage choices.

Yes, sugary foods are bad for your teeth. But sugary drinks are even worse, since they literally bathe and coat your teeth with sugar on all sides. Make a conscious effort to choose low-sugar or sugar-free drinks, and your teeth will be better for it. This does not have to mean plain water. Sparkling water (the nonsweetened variety), plain tea, plain coffee, and diet soda (on occasion) are all better options compared to soda and juice.

If you take the tips above to heart, your teeth will surely benefit. For more oral hygiene tips that are easy to follow, talk to your general dentist or dental hygienist.