The last thing you want to be, as a man, is to be accused of being unkempt – for that can lead to social ostracism, being blackballed on the dating scene, and feeling of depression and under-achievement.
Ironically enough, the quickest way to learn all the tips and tricks to get “kempt” is by visiting the helpful site called Unkempt. Go there immediately for helpful advice you’ll use every day of your life. But for advice specific to oral hygiene, continue reading below.
Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is the biggest turn-off resulting from poor oral hygiene – arguably even more serious than “yellow stains” on the teeth. A healthy mouth and smile are a big part of overall health and hygiene, but you may need some new tools to get the job done right consistently.
Here are 5 top tools for maintaining optimal oral hygiene for life:
1. The right toothbrush.
Everyone has a toothbrush, but many have the wrong one or don’t use their brush correctly. First of all, it needs to be a soft (not hard or even medium) bristled brush. Otherwise, you scrape down your enamel and hurt your gums. Or, you avoid brushing along your gum line and risk developing periodontal disease.
Also be sure the toothbrush is the right size and shape for your mouth and has a firm-grip ergonomically designed handle. Electric toothbrushes can help if you have trouble brushing at the right pressure level or in circular motions on tooth surfaces – but a well-designed handheld brush works just fine.
2. “Super” Toothpaste
Avoid kinds of toothpaste with artificial colors or other unnecessary ingredients. Also, avoid pastes with whitening agents in them since these can sometimes hurt your tooth enamel – there are other, better ways to whiten your teeth.
But be sure your toothpaste of choice has plenty of fluoride in it. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps it resist plaque, which harbors cavity-causing bacteria. Also get toothpaste that fights tooth oversensitivity and/or gingivitis, if you have trouble in these areas.
3. Floss, Picks, and Sticks
Flossing should be done at least twice daily, once after breakfast and once just before bed. Use waxed floss if your teeth are tightly spaced, but unwaxed if they’re not. Consider using “minty” flavored floss to improve breath.
Many people find it very difficult to floss properly with just a string attached to their fingers. There’s no shame in used floss sticks, or interdental picks, or even miniature interdental brushes if you need to. Those with dental appliances may especially need to resort to these “floss alternatives” for effective cleaning.
4. Mouth Wash & Oral Irrigators
Always finish up your oral hygiene routine by gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash that will kill off any remaining bacteria. Many brands also add fluoride and breath fresheners. You can’t go wrong choosing a mouth rinse that’s specifically recommended for preventing gum disease – a condition that afflicts over 50% of US adults over 30.
Also consider buying an oral irrigator, which is a device that simply shoots a stream of water into your mouth to remove hard to reach food particles. Those with braces often need an oral irrigator, but it’s a useful tool for everyone else too.
5. Teeth Whiteners
To keep that sparkle in your smile, you may want to use some over the counter teeth whitening strips. It’s best to use them only periodically, say, once a week at most or even only once a month.
The peroxide solution in store-bought strips won’t whiten your teeth as well as a dentist can with a stronger solution and a custom-fit tray system. So you should invest in getting professional teeth whitening once a year as well.
Few things are as basic to personal hygiene as is oral hygiene, but it takes the right use of the right tools on a consistent basis to maintain it. These 5 tools are key to keeping your mouth healthy, your breath fresh, and your smile attractive.