You turn on the TV and pretty much everyone you see has a bright smile.

You open your favorite magazine, same thing.

But you look in the mirror and you’re not so excited by what you see.

And worse, maybe you feel like your breath isn’t so fresh.

Keep reading for tips and tricks for teeth cleaning that will give you a whiter, healthier smile!

Brushing, the right way

Brushing your teeth is like riding a bicycle, right?

Once you learn how to do it, you’re good!

Not so fast – a few updates to your teeth cleaning techniques can put you on the road to a fresher mouth.

Not so hard!

When you’re brushing, think less about scrubbing things off (like you would on a hard surface) and more about gently removing bits that don’t belong.

While enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it does wear away over time.

Enamel is especially fragile if you brush within 30 minutes of eating something acidic or sugary.

The best method is to hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and go in small circles, rather than back-and-forth.

If you have a small mouth, you might grab a compact head toothbrush to make things a little easier.

(If you’re not sure which brush is right for you, we’re here to help.)

Toss that brush

If you don’t replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months, you ‘re putting the same bacteria back in your mouth.

Set a reminder on your calendar to make it easier to remember.

Make sure you’re replacing the head on your electric toothbrush at the same rate.

Floss it, floss it good

Some of us may cringe when we hear the question from our dental hygienist, “Do you floss regularly?”. We possibly mumble an answer, even though there are no dental tools near our mouth at the time.

A good way to improve your flossing score is to learn to do it without a mirror.

Close your eyes and focus on how flossing feels the next time you’re in front of your mirror. Use it to spot check and make sure you’re doing it right.

Once you get the feel down, you can do it anywhere (though maybe not at your desk).

Check out these flossing myths for other tips to be more confident on your next trip to the dentist.

Teeth Cleaning: The “when” is important, too

Brush morning AND night

You likely already brush your teeth in the morning, along with the rest of your getting-ready-for-the-day routine.

You may also have a nighttime ritual: get the kids to bed, take the dog out, lock the door, turn off the lights.

But before you get in bed, your teeth would appreciate a little attention, too.

Saliva helps keep cavity-causing bacteria at bay, but it dries out while you sleep.

Give your mouth a head-start while you snooze by brushing (and flossing!) before bed.

Teeth cleaning after meals

It can be tough to brush after a meal:

  • You’re eating out with the boss
  • The meal took longer than you’d planned, and now you’re late
  • You forgot your travel brush

When possible, it’s best to brush after each meal. Even remembering sometimes is better than never.

What you eat counts

There are all sorts of diets for your body: low carb, no carb, no sugar. But your teeth can benefit from a diet, too!


Cut out or limit your intake of red wine. Recent medical studies say that a glass a day might be good for you, but that glass of cabernet can be hard on your teeth. Make sure to at least rinse with water afterward, if you can’t brush.

Sugary foods, not just dessert

Foods that are high in sugar (like fruits) can leave a sugary residue on your teeth that eats away at your enamel.

Your afternoon snack of grapes could be keeping your smile on the sugary side (unless you’re brushing or at least rinsing afterward).

Sugar can be especially hard on teeth if you’re grazing – every bite you take starts the assault on your enamel all over again.

Crunchy stuff

There are crunchy foods that are actually helpful to your teeth, especially when you eat them at the end of your meal.

Apples (sometimes called nature’s toothbrush), carrots and celery can be helpful for cleaning your teeth.

Popcorn can work, too, but make sure it’s plain, and watch out for kernels!

Whiten your smile, at home

If you’re looking for natural, cost-effective ways to whiten your teeth and freshen your breath, check out these teeth cleaning tips:


Apple cider vinegar is good for lots of things: cooking, itchy bug bites in the summer, and your teeth!

Gargle with it to kill bacteria and give your teeth a whitening boost.

Baking soda

Rather than buying a baking soda toothpaste, you can also make a paste from the box of baking soda in your  pantry (though you might want to get a new one, just for brushing).

Try it once a week to whiten, though don’t combine it directly with your vinegar gargle! It might be fun to make a volcano for your kid’s science project, but not so much in your mouth.

You can also use salt, but be careful not to ingest too much of it.

Bonus tip

A red or coral lip color can make your teeth seem whiter, though watch pale colors as they may bring out any yellow tones.

Teeth cleaning is not just for adults

To build healthy, lifelong habits, kids need to start with good dental hygiene at an early age. The same tips apply to your kids’ smile, as well as yours.

Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, as well as things like rinsing with water if they can’t brush, are all important habits for everyone in your family.

Here’s a list of habits that are kid-specific that you should keep an eye on.

With a little bit of time and attention each day, your teeth can last you a lifetime.

Let Dentrix DentalCare help keep your family’s teeth healthy and bright!

Contact us today for all your dental needs.