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On-the-go dental hygiene: Stay fresh all day long

When you’re facing a busy day, the last thing on your mind is probably your dental hygiene. You can still maintain great oral health without much effort. With these simple strategies, you can keep your mouth clean and fresh while you’re on the go all day long. Remember, too, that one of the most important things you can do for your dental hygiene is maintenance. Tackle these steps when you’re on the go, but be sure to brush and floss every morning and night to start with a healthy foundation.

woman chewing sugar free gum

Stash clean-mouth staples

Keep a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your purse or desk drawer. No matter how busy your day gets, you can always duck into a restroom for a quick brush to keep your breath fresh and your teeth sparkling. You can also pick up a small mouthwash and dental floss — check the travel-size section of your local drugstore. If you eat out frequently, keep a small box of dental floss in your glove compartment or armrest to check your teeth after meals.

Hydrate

Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist and healthy. If possible, avoid bottled water. Instead, drink fluorinated water, which is usually the water that comes straight out of your tap. Most communities add a small, safe amount of fluoride to the community water supply. Drinking that fluorinated water throughout the day will help keep your teeth clean without any extra effort on your part. If you don’t have fluorinated water available, bottled water is the next best thing. Just be sure to swish a little between your teeth to help keep your mouth flushed and clean.

Watch what you eat

To keep your mouth fresh all day long, this may be the most important step you can take. Avoid sugary foods and drinks like candies and sodas. The sugar sticks to your teeth as plaque, which becomes tartar. Plaque and tartar cause bad breath and, eventually, that tartar becomes tooth decay and gum disease.

Chew sugar-free gum

If you just need to freshen your breath, a sugar-free mint will get the job done. However, if you want a more comprehensive clean, reach for the sugar-free gum. Chewing gum helps your mouth produce more saliva. That saliva will help rinse and flush away bad-breath-causing bacteria, as well as the gunk that causes tooth decay. Choose a sugar-free variety so that you’re not adding harmful sugar to your teeth and gums as you chew.

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