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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Five Tips for a Healthy Mouth

You can’t get professional teeth whitening or cosmetic dentistry at home, but these five easy tips will keep your mouth healthier (and your dentist happier).

1. Do you think you might have bad breath? Check by swiping a cotton ball over the back of your tongue, where bacteria hangs out, then smell it. It should smell slightly sweet but if not, brush your teeth and the back of your tongue. You dentist can help if brushing isn’t enough to banish bad breath.

2. Suffering from painful canker cores? These painful (yet benign) sores often crop up when you’re stressed. If topical pain reliever doesn’t do the trick, your dentist may be able to use a soft-tissue laser to zap the sore.

3. Do you brush far enough back? When brushing, make sure to tackle the cavity-prone areas in the back of the mouth by brushing with your mouth only slightly open (your cheeks will block that area if you open too wide).

4. How many times a week do you floss? Your dentist has told you and we’ll say it again: brushing isn’t enough, make sure to floss!

5. When was the last time you did a self-exam? Check your mouth for red or red-and-white patches, pigmented lesions, sores with uneven borers and flaking on the tongue every few months.