Most of us learn the importance of proper oral hygiene at a young age, when parents teach us how to brush, floss, and rinse. It only takes a couple of cavities and fillings to remind you why it’s a good idea to follow rigorous oral health habits, including cleaning teeth after meals and seeing the dentist for regular cleaning and checkup.
Unfortunately, our busy modern lives may prevent us from practicing a regular routine at times, such as during the work day. If you’re unable to brush, floss, and rinse after every meal, you could wind up with leftover food particles and bacteria clinging to teeth, forming a film that could turn into tartar and plaque buildup over time, eventually resulting in tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
What can you do to prevent such issues when you don’t have time to brush after meals? Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your teeth clean in between meals.
Saliva goes a long way toward flushing away any leftover food and bacteria in the mouth, but you can do more. Obviously, your regular regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash is ideal, but if you don’t have the time or resources handy, simply supplement by drinking plenty of water. Swishing and swallowing following meals will help to clean your mouth between meals.
You might not be keen to carry around all of your oral hygiene equipment – it can be hard to fit your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash in your pocket. Floss picks, on the other hand, pair your dental floss and toothpick in a small, compact, disposable tool that you can stash anywhere. Then all you have to do is pop in the restroom after a meal so you can clean between teeth and around the gum line.
Even if you are willing and able to brush, floss, and rinse after meals, you might not have the opportunity to do so following snacks. The good news is that the snacks you choose could perform double duty.
Whereas sugary snacks like sodas, candy, and cookies will leave behind particles that stick to teeth and feed bacteria, other foods can help to clean your teeth. Crisp veggies like carrots and celery can actually scrape away film left behind on your teeth, and dairy products like cheese can reduce acidity and balance the pH in your mouth, which is good for enamel. Snacking between meals is wise if you aren’t able to practice your regular oral hygiene routine.