It’s back to school time already! Besides going to lectures, studying, and writing papers and exams, you must keep up with your oral health. We’ve put together eight easy-to-follow tips to keep your teeth white and healthy.

1. Brush your teeth twice daily
The best times to brush your teeth are when you wake up and before you go to sleep. When you brush your teeth upon waking, you’re removing anything that has accrued over night. Plus, your breath will probably be in need of a little freshening up first thing in the morning. When you brush your teeth before bed you’re not only going to sleep with a fresh, minty mouth, you’re removing all the plaque and food debris that has accumulated during the day.

2. Quit smoking
Smoking turns your teeth yellow and causes cancer. Simply put, don’t smoke. It’s very bad for you.

3. Brush your tongue and cheeks
Brushing your teeth removes debris and bacteria from your teeth and gums but your tongue and cheeks need the same care too. You can buy a tongue scrubber or use a toothbrush that is equipped with one. Gently brush your tongue and cheeks to remove bacteria and make your breath even fresher.

4. Use the right mouthwash
Some mouthwashes contain too much alcohol and can dry out the tissues in your mouth. Ask your dentist to recommend a mouthwash that is just right and use it after you brush.

5. Avoid drinks that stain
Soda, coffee, red wine, juice – these are all products that stain the teeth. If you need that cup of joe to pick you up before your first morning class, try drinking it through a straw. You should also avoid soda because you are just drinking sugar. The same goes for juices that are mass produced. Stick to all-natural juices instead and if you can stay away from red wine, all the better for your teeth.

6. Replace your toothbrush
Replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months. You should also replace your toothbrush when you get sick or if you notice that the bristles have become frayed.

7. Floss
Flossing removes plaque and food debris from your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. In order to keep your teeth healthy, floss once a day. Ask your dentist to show you a proper flossing technique, or you can view the Canadian Dental Association’s guide on how to floss here.

8. Stay away from over-the-counter whiteners
If you want to turn yellow teeth into pearly whites, you can have them whitened. Over-the-counter whiteners can have some effect on the colour of your teeth but not enough that they’re worth the price and the risk. Instead, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening. This is something our dentists can do in-office. It costs more than the over-the-counter products but it’s safer and produces better, longer-lasting results.