Any dentist will tell you how important it is to brush and floss at least twice a day, as well as after large meals. But while most people may agree, very few carry around a spare toothbrush and dental floss when they go out to restaurants. So here are a few low-tech solutions to on-the-go dental care.
Natural Brushes. Surprisingly enough, a great way to keep our teeth clean after eating food is… to eat more food. Specifically, crunchy fruits and vegetables (apples, celery, raw cauliflower, etc.). These foods naturally scour your teeth as you eat them, making them a great choice not only for dental hygiene, but also to add more soluble fiber to your diet.
Tongue Cleaning. Your teeth aren’t the only things in your mouth that need cleaning after a meal. The tongue can harbor bacteria and biofilms (plaque) as well, and deserves attention. And if you happen to leave your professional-grade titanium tongue-scraper at home, the edge of a spoon can be every bit as effective. Cleaning your tongue will help keep your breath clean and fresh, without the sugary residue left by after-dinner mints.
The Classics. Popping a stick of sugar-free gum after a meal is a great way to dislodge any unintentional leftovers from the surface of your enamel. For those nooks and crannies between your teeth normally cleaned by flossing, take a tip from Clint Eastwood: use a toothpick. Most restaurants provide them near the front counter, or you could keep a small container in your pocket.
Not only are the above suggestions great cleaning solutions in and of themselves, but they also help to stimulate the production of one of your body’s best defenses against plaque and biofilm buildup — saliva. Saliva helps to loosen and wash away bits of food and sticky sugars that can act as a first step in dental decay. It’s one of the most effective dental care products available, and you make it every day, for free. Chew on that a while. Find more.