Few people enjoy a trip to the cold, drably decorated dentist’s office. While the activity isn’t fun, the results are something we all love — a healthy and beautiful smile. If you’re not a big fan of going to the dentist, especially during the pandemic, you can follow a few tips to care for your smile from home.

Let’s look at how you can practice good dental hygiene at home and keep the dentist far away.

Yes, every health tip always begins with water, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true — you should drink more water. Especially for dental health, as drinking water regularly helps keep your mouth clean. Drinking any liquid will help clean your teeth, but water is best not because of what’s in it, but because of what it lacks. Tea and coffee can stain your teeth. Sugary beverages are not good for your teeth and sorry, but drinking beer all day isn’t the healthiest option (though it might be the most enjoyable).

Drink more water — your teeth and your body will definitely thank you.

We might start sounding like your scolding dentist, but it must be asked — are you flossing? Many of us don’t, telling ourselves we’ll start that habit “soon.” Well, here’s your invitation to “soon.” If you want that healthy fresh breath and beautiful teeth, flossing is the easiest thing we never do to get there.

Chew on This
James Nestor’s new book, Breath, is a great read. In one chapter, he details how the modern, industrialized, urban diet that many in the West have eaten for the last three hundred years has caused our mouths to shrink. That’s right — our mouths shrank from overeating soft processed food. That’s the theory anyway.

Unprocessed, whole foods take longer to chew and eat. This makes your mouth stronger and expands the mouth, allowing room for your teeth to grow straight. Chew on that for an idea.

Brush Your Teeth and Use Fluoride Toothpaste
You should be brushing your teeth twice a day. Not once, but twice.
If you’re really serious about your home dental hygiene, try to brush after each meal. For many of us, this isn’t realistic or very fun, so we understand if you keep it at two times a day. But just remember, the more you brush, the less time you consume has to stain your teeth, which means whiter teeth.

Also, the consensus is that fluoride toothpaste does help fight tooth decay. There are a lot of natural kinds of toothpaste out there that don’t add it. That may be more natural, but it’s not clear if it’s actually better for you.

Go Electric
An electric toothbrush is something you need to experience before you believe in its dental-cleaning-powers.

They are relatively expensive, but they do a better job than you do at brushing your teeth. How many Amazon orders did you place this month? Think of a fancy toothbrush as an investment and add it to your cart ASAP; this option is a great start.

Mouthwash helps keep your mouth clean by adding minerals to your teeth and cleaning the areas around your gums. It can also reduce the amount of acid in your mouth. There are plenty of brands that use natural ingredients if you have a sensitive mouth.

Avoiding unnecessary dentist’s visits or just maintaining your mouth while under pandemic lockdown doesn’t have to be hard. Yet, it’s an integral part of our health that’s easy to overlook. Plus, every selfie looks better with a whiter smile in it!