8 Tips For Better Oral Hygiene So You Can Up Your Brushing Game

We’ve all heard it before: brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, is essential. But when it comes to your oral hygiene routine, you shouldn’t stop there. To make sure your mouth is the healthiest it can be, we’ve put together a list of eight things you can – and should – be doing. This list of tips, tricks and routines can help make sure your pearly whites – and the rest of your mouth – are the best they can be.

And instead of showing you pictures of scary things that will happen if you don’t follow a proper oral hygiene routine – like those shots of decaying teeth and disgusting gums your dentist scares you with – we thought we’d show you something a little more inspirational: people with beautiful smiles. You’re welcome.

Change Your Brush

Don’t remember the last time you picked up a new toothbrush? That’s a problem. You should replace your brush (or brush head, if you use an electric brush on your pearly whites) every three to four months.

Oral-B Pro-Health Toothbrush, $6, Amazon

Oral-B Floss Action Replacement Electric Toothbrush Heads, $18, Amazon


Store Your Brush The Right Way

It might be easier to throw your brush in a bathroom drawer when you’re done, but that’s really not best. Storing it upright (like in a holder or even a cup) will let it dry out properly.

Vanity Toothbrush Stand, $8, Amazon


One Per Person, Please

You might think it’s cute to share your toothbrush with your significant other, but some things are better kept separate. When you share your brush, you’re sharing a whole lot more – including bacteria that might even cause tooth decay. So keep your spit-swapping activities to kissing and spring for a second brush.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Don’t Forget Your Tongue!

We know you’re in a rush in the morning, but using the tongue-scraper that’s (probably) already on your brush can help get rid of excess bacteria, and will help you freshen your breath, too.

Oral-B Toothbrush with Tongue Cleaner, $8, Amazon

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Floss, Floss, Floss

Often forgotten, flossing is one of those things you know you should do, yet you never get around to actually doing. But you really, really should. Flossing will decrease your chances of gum infections or cavities by getting rid of bacteria build-up between your teeth. So just do it, already.

Oral-B 3D White Flossers, $3, Amazon


Borrow Supplies From Your Kitchen

Gargling apple cider vinegar before brushing in the morning can help whiten teeth, removing stains while also killing bacteria.

Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, $11, Amazon


Incorporate Good Habits For Between Meals

To help prevent decay (and potential gum issues), use an antibacterial rinse between meals. If that’s too much of a hassle, chewing (sugar-free!) gum can increase saliva, which will naturally wash bacteria away and neutralize acid in your mouth.

BreatheRX Rinse, $10, Amazon


Schedule That Check-Up

Are you due for a check-up with your dentist? Probably, since you should have one every six months. Stop ignoring those adorable reminder cards, calls and texts from your dentist’s office. Give them a call back and schedule an appointment today. Your teeth will thank you.