Photo: Katy Martincak/EyeEm/Getty Images
Your teeth are clean, but they’re not clean enough, some experts say. And your whole body’s health may rely on keeping your mouth in pristine shape, studies show. Fortunately, new innovative products and smart strategies can step up your standard routine. (Related: Should You Brush Your Teeth with Activated Charcoal Toothpaste?)
1. Try a Foam Cleanser
It’s a more powerful paste than you’re likely using now. Crest Gum Detoxify toothpaste ($7; walmart.com) uses a thick foam formula that allows the stannous fluoride—an antimicrobial super-cleaner that fights cavities—to penetrate deeper and attack plaque below the gum line without harming the enamel. (What not to do to get rid of hidden plaque? Brush harder. You’ll just irritate, or even damage, your gums.)
2. Add More Water
A water flosser uses H2O to blast away plaque in those tough-to-reach crevices. “Water flossing devices can be more beneficial than regular floss because they clear out plaque deeper in the pockets of your gums,” says Michael Glick, a dentist and a professor of oral diagnostic sciences at the University at Buffalo. To streamline your routine, try the brand-new Waterpik Sonic-Fusion ($200; waterpik.com), a combo toothbrush and water flosser. Prefer to stick with traditional floss? Try Dr. Tung's Smart Floss ($12 for 3; drtungs.com). Its stretchy fibers easily slip into tricky corners, where they expand to help remove plaque. (Related: Asking for a Friend: How Gross Is It If I Don't Floss Every Day?)
3. Use Between-Meals Protection
If you can’t bring a toothbrush everywhere, keep your teeth clean after eating by sipping tea-based Qii ($23 for 12 cans; drinkqii.com). The drink is made with xylitol, an alternative sweetener that can reduce the risk of cavities. (Here's what you should know about the latest alternative sweeteners.) Qii also has a neutral pH and will prevent the enamel wear and tear that acidic food and drinks can cause. Dr. Glick suggests sipping on water flavored with a slice of lemon or orange too. The fruit won’t add enough acidity to harm enamel, but it will boost saliva production to prevent dry mouth, a condition that can cause plaque accumulation.