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Have you ever ran into someone and wished they would believe in picking up a toothbrush? It always seems to be the ones who don’t, that love to talk closely, all up in your face. You’ve probably thought to yourself, don’t they smell their own breath? Many people who suffer from bad breath can actually do something about it. Here are five things you can do to practice good dental hygiene.

Tooth Brush Toothpaste
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

1. Floss 

Flossing is important, even more important than just brushing your teeth. When you brush your teeth you can’t reach the little cracks that your toothbrush misses. That’s why it’s important to floss! If you don’t floss after brushing, it is likely that food from that day will remain in your teeth. When food remains between the teeth, bacteria grow, possibly causing cavities or even smelly breath. 

2. Brush

You should brush your teeth at least three times a day, if not every time you eat something, especially sugar food. Although the American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice per day, it is a good idea to brush 30 to 60 minutes after each meal. You are most likely to brush often if you find yourself a favorite toothbrush. Even if you’re on a busy schedule, find time to brush. If you cannot brush three times a day, brush in the morning and before bed. Always brush before bed because food that sits in the mouth overnight can cause cavities to occur. 

3. Maintain regular dental visits 

It’s important to make regular dentist appointments even if you don’t have any problems with your teeth. Going to the dentist can prevent future problems such as cavities or tooth decay. Visiting the dentist regularly should consist of going every six months, or at least once a year. Never go more than one year without seeing a dentist. In addition to regular cleaning, the dentist checks for cavities and other concerns with your teeth. Cavities can show up quickly and fixing unaddressed cavities is not cheap. Regular dentist visits can actually help you keep more money in your pockets. 

4. Eat less sugar

What you eat affects your dental hygiene. Certain foods can cause dental problems including bad breath. By eating less sugar and eating healthy foods can prevent dental problems such as halitosis. Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, but eating less sugar can help maintain healthy bacteria levels. Sodas, juices and other high sugar and acidic drinks are terrible for keeping bacteria levels low in the mouth. These drinks can cause your mouth to produce more bad bacteria which causes bad breath. Instead, drinking water can help with bad breath prevention.

5. Say away from cigarettes

Smoking cigarettes is just not a bad habit, but smoking also is bad for your teeth and gums. Not only does it turn the teeth yellow over time but it also can cause tooth loss. Smoking decreases saliva flow in the mouth, making it easier for bacteria to grow on the teeth, resulting in plaque and tartar. Not only does plaque buildup lead to gum disease,  the tooth might also get infected, leading to tooth loss. 

It is important to take dental hygiene seriously. As we age, our bodies change, especially your teeth. However, if you properly take care of your teeth, you can prevent serious problems as you age. Let your dental hygiene tell a story about you. Having bad dental hygiene can decrease self confidence, creating concerns about others smelling your breath or if you’re no longer smiling because of the state of your teeth. It’s never too late to start good dental hygiene.

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Bonny is a transfer student from Georgia Military College, having obtained her associates degree in communication science in Summer 2020. She then transferred to Valdosta State in Fall 2020. She is now a mass media major in her junior year, looking to experience media like she never dreamed of! Bonny's hope that someday her work reaches you and many more.
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