There's no shortcut to oral health. Setting aside a few minutes at both ends of our day to brush and floss your teeth is the only way to maintain your smile. "There are dental implants to be sure, but you're not going to get a chance at another set of teeth," says Richard H. Price, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association. "This is it."
Over time, our dental education tends to fade from memory (what is fluoride again?) so it's important to remind yourself how critical caring for your mouth is and how painful oral issues can be. Here are 10 ways to keep your teeth healthy so that you can keep them as long as possible.
Bleach with Caution
White teeth are so desirable that we bleach these tiny, living bones in our mouth to get a few shades closer to blinding. But Price warns that brightness doesn't equate to healthfulness. “Unfortunately, as we get older, hair gets whiter and teeth get darker," he says. "That’s just the course of life." There’s nothing wrong with wanting youthful, white teeth but be careful not to go overboard. Excessive bleaching can wear down the enamel. If possible, stick to whitening toothpastes instead of peroxide-containing bleaching agents which can irritate the tissue around your gums and cause tooth sensitivity.
Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez / Getty Images