Most kids spend eight hours a day at school and adults spend just as much time – if not more – at work. This makes it difficult to follow your dentist’s recommendation to brush after every meal. However, just because you’re busy, that’s no excuse to put oral hygiene on hold. Use these seven tips to help keep your teeth clean while away from home.
Rinse After Eating
If you don’t have a way to brush your teeth at school or work after lunch, the very least you can do is rinse your mouth out with water. This is an easy way to remove food particles and lingering sugars to reduce the formation of plaque, which leads to cavities.
Pack Floss Along
A tiny floss container is easy to keep in your backpack, purse or pocket. Whip it out after eating lunch to remove more of what’s left behind than rinsing alone. If you don’t like ordinary floss, small plastic-handled “flossers” are a portable alternative. These are easy to use in the car, on the bus or at your desk, and they don’t pinch your fingers the way ordinary floss does.
Store Mouthwash Away from Home
Keep a small bottle in your glove box, office desk drawer or purse. If you ever feel like your mouth needs a little freshening up, slip into the bathroom for a quick rinse. Remember, swishing mouthwash isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing, but it’s better than nothing until you have time later to brush and floss properly.
Bring Your Toothbrush with You
If you’re strapped for time in the morning but you know you’ll have a few minutes to spare after your first class or morning meeting, bring your toothbrush and toothpaste along. Place a protective cap on your toothbrush and keep it in your purse, briefcase or backpack until you can escape to the bathroom for a few minutes. There, you can take your time finishing your morning routine, even if it’s a little belated.
Try Interdental Brush Cleaners
If you have braces, maintaining oral hygiene on the go is even more challenging. Try interdental brushes, which combine brushing and flossing into a single solution. Use the tiny bristles to easily remove plaque from beneath your braces. These brushes also work well for cleaning bridges, crowns and spaces between teeth. The best part is they’re portable so you can use them at school or work.
A quick fix for on-the-go oral hygiene is to chew a piece of sugar-free gum after lunch. This not only freshens your breath with a minty flavor; it also helps remove tiny pieces of stubborn, stuck-on food from your teeth. Get even more benefits by chewing gum with xylitol, a product shown to help reduce plaque and prevent bacteria from clinging to your teeth. Chew one piece of gum for at least five minutes to get the maximum benefits.
Watch What You Eat
Even if you plan to rinse, floss or chew gum after eating, it’s still wise to avoid sugary drinks and candy. The amount of time you spend enjoying these treats is all it takes to start eating away at your enamel. Avoiding food with added sugar isn’t just good for your teeth; it’s also good for your overall health.
While these oral hygiene tips are better than nothing when on the go, they aren’t meant to substitute thorough brushing and flossing, which you should do every morning and night. Another proven way to help fight tooth decay and cavities is to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. To schedule an appointment, please contact Evanson DDS online or call us at (720) 409-0008.Leave a reply →