How to maintain a healthy mouth

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A Mouthful of Freshness
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by Vicky Lumsden

The human mouth can be a dirty place. Some people may not like to think so but it's a fact. Our mouths are an ideal environment for bacteria and disease both of which will give you seriously bad breath. So not only do you have an unhealthy mouth but you will become a social leper to boot!. The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be underestimated and here is how you achieve it:

1. Brush, brush, brush

If you brush your teeth twice a day, every day you're already well on the way to a healthy mouth. But remember you must brush thoroughly for approximately two minutes with a good manual or electric toothbrush. If your brush is as old as Stonehenge, you will not be cleaning your teeth effectively.

2. Flossing shouldn't be an optional extra

In America and other parts of the world flossing is almost as common as brushing itself. However, in the UK it's still seen by many people as an unnecessary addition to their daily regime. But the truth is that flossing is the only way to get rid of bacteria between the teeth. Brushing alone cannot reach these areas and the result of this is decay and disease. Flossing just once a day for a couple of minutes will prevent this from happening.

3. Don't forget your tongue

The tongue is be a breeding ground for bacteria and therefore unpleasant odors. To prevent nasty build ups you should scrape your tongue at least one or twice a week. If you're prone to bad breath you should do this every day. You can buy a tongue scraper for a few pounds but for most people using their tooth brush will suffice. For best results run your brush under the hot tap or soak it in mouth wash. You can use the mouth wash bottle top but make sure you rinse it out afterwards.

4. Eat for freshness

We all know that sugar is the biggest cause of tooth decay but there are many other foods that your mouth dislikes. The bacteria in dairy products such as milk and cheese will attach itself to your tongue and quickly begin smell ghastly. Alcohol and coffee also play havoc with the inside of your mouth - staining, drying out and turning acidic. But enough of the bad, what about the foods that are good for your mouth. Well, you can't go wrong with fresh fruit and vegetables particularly those that are crunchy since these help clean your teeth as you eat them.

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