This post is brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Health-Minded.

There is nothing like a warm smile upon meeting someone new. It raises spirits all around – the one giving the smile as well as the one receiving it. But to keep it looking good and actually something to smile about, stepping up your oral hygiene routine could play a crucial role.

It is true that how you care for your teeth and gums can create a sparkling smile that anyone would want to see, but that is certainly not all it can do for you! Your dental routine, or lack of one, may even determine your risk for other serious diseases. Keep reading to see what the latest research is saying on that as well as lots of tips (you may not have heard of) to care for your teeth the best way.



It may sound like a far reach to think that how you take care of your teeth and gums could affect cancer or heart disease risk as well as diabetes and other diseases. But, according to some latest studies, it could be so. Here are some of the latest findings on how you choose to take care of your teeth and gums may affect your overall health:

Don’t miss this:  Sleep has a lot to do with heart health, too. Find here just how many hours sleep can help you keep your heart beating strong

Five minutes a day is all it takes to your whitest teeth, freshest breath, and keeping serious disease like cancer, diabetes and heart disease at bay! Learn all the facts here for your best oral hygiene routine that can keep your smile bright and filling-free!


In pursuit of flashing a great smile, having fresh breath and keeping serious disease at bay, our daily dental care habits can really help create care-free dental check-ups and a lot less drilling – if at all!
Five minutes a day is all it takes to follow a basic daily oral hygiene routine that can do so much for your health and your appearance! That’s it – five minutes! And, the cost for supplies to do it are very low as well!
A basic routine for you and your family includes brushing at least twice a day (after every meal even better) for two minutes at least and flossing at least once. But, there are other really important points, too, to keep that smile bright and filling-free:
1. Toss the tobacco. 
Smoking and other tobacco habits turn your teeth yellow and harm your body in a number of ways: throat, lung, and mouth cancer for one and tar from tobacco forms a sticky film on teeth. That film attracts bacteria that promotes acid production that can cause gum inflammation and tooth decay as well.
2.  Swish with water after drinking wine, tea, coffee, and sugary drinks.  
I really don’t think sugary drinks should play a role in our lives much at all, but if you choose to consume them, they cause cavities. Regular consumption of wine, tea and coffee can harm tooth enamel, too, and the acidity can dissolve the tooth structure and increase dental staining. Taking small sips and rinsing with water when you’re done drinking is a good habit to form with all of these beverages.
3. Choose safe and effective basic tools for whiter teeth.
Check out these important ABC tools when choosing your next toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental for best results:
A.  Toothpaste
There are lots of tooth whitening toothpastes on the market but many contain preservatives and enamel-harming additives. Here is a new one I was asked to review recently that you may want to try as well: Tom’s of Maine Luminous White Toothpaste, part of the Made to Matter collection only available at Target. A bit about why I like this toothpaste is here:
  • This toothpaste is safe for enamel – so critical — but whitens teeth!
  • It is gluten and paraben-free.
  • It is a good choice if you are cavity prone as it does contain fluoride.
  • This toothpaste is free of artificial dyes, fragrances, flavors and preservatives and never tested on animals.
  • It is a product that could easily be part of any family’s pursuit for healthy living. With Earth Day falling this month, it is a reminder that as this article says: what we choose to purchase and put on our body does end up in our water supply as well potentially harming our planet and each other.  With smarter and well-informed purchases, we can create change – not just on Earth Day, but every day!
  • If you are interested in purchasing this toothpaste or several other natural personal care products, please roll on down to the last section of this post for Target coupon discounts.
B. Toothbrush
Here are some important points about choosing a toothbrush and how to keep it germ-free:
  • Choose a soft-bristled brush to not injure your gums but still clean the teeth effectively.
  • Replace your brush at least every few months and especially after you have been sick to not reinfect yourself.
  • Store your toothbrush upright and keep it where air can circulate to dry the brush quickly.
  • As odd as it may sound, per the American Dental Association, pop your toothbrush in the dishwasher regularly to disinfect it.  I try to do this once a week.
Don’t miss this: Find my super quick method to clean all my brushes to avoid infections that I use often right here.
C. Dental Floss
If you floss, great! If not, begin today as it is one of the best things you can do to take care of your teeth and perhaps the most important daily habit to prevent gum disease.  It only adds a minute to your routine (included in the five daily minutes mentioned above) and once you start, you can’t imagine NOT doing it.  Specifically, regular flossing can do this for you:
  • Flossing helps prevent tooth decay by removing plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums where the toothbrush can’t reach.  My hygienist always flosses after she polishes my teeth, but I always floss first so that I can more easily brush away anything that I was not able to reach with my toothbrush. What about you
  • Dental floss polishes the tooth’s surface providing a brighter smile!
  • Regular flossing helps control bad breath.
Don’t miss this:  Do not ingest harmful chemicals for fresher breath! That stick of chewing gum is a bad idea! Find much better alternatives for fresh breath here.


4. Show extra care if a baby is on the way. 
If you are pregnant, pay extra attention to your teeth and gums as some studies show a link between untreated gum disease and low-birth-weight babies. Further, changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can cause inflammation of the gums and gingivitis (red, swollen, tender gums) and may require extra care.
Don’t miss this: Thinking of having a baby soon? Get your body ready for your best possible pregnancy with these tips.


5. Keep hydrated. 
A dry mouth is bad for your teeth and breath. Saliva washes away cavity-causing, bad-breath making bacteria and neutralizes harmful acids.


6.  Try ancient practices.
Oil-pulling may seem trendy but it is an ancient practice of Ayurveda medicine that may promise a healthier mouth and gums, whiter teeth, fresher breath and less bacteria in the mouth and, therefore, in the body. Here is a bit more about it:
  • Oil pulling is basically swishing about 1 tablespoon of oil — usually coconut, sesame, or sunflower oil — in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then spitting it out.
  • I tried oil pulling some time ago but found it a bit cumbersome to add to my morning routine. However, I am planning on trying it again for shorter increments, as I have read research like this on oil pulling benefits that has further convinced me. Even a few minutes should offer some benefit and I can build up from there, depending on my morning time rush!
  • Coconut oil may be the best choice as it has the added benefit of lauric acid, which is well-known for its anti-microbial agents.
  • Whatever you do, do not swallow all that swished stuff! And, don’t spit it down the sink either as the oil could clog your pipes. Just discard the used oil into a tissue and deposit it in the nearest trash can.


Five minutes a day is all it takes to your whitest teeth, freshest breath, and keeping serious disease like cancer, diabetes and heart disease at bay! Learn all the facts here for your best oral hygiene routine that can keep your smile bright and filling-free!
Switching to more natural personal care products makes a lot of sense to protect you and your family. See the code below if you want to purchase the Luminous White Toothpaste as well as two other new Toms’s of Maine personal care products from Target’s Made to Matter collection like these:
  • Wicked Cool! Deodorant: their first natural deodorant for boys and girls, providing 24-hour odor protection and free of aluminum, parabens, and artificial fragrances
  • North Woods Antiperspirant: their first natural antiperspirant made for men that provides all day odor and wetness protection without petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, or irritation
So, what have you found helpful for keeping your teeth and gums their best?  What are your favorite natural products? Are you a floss first or last person?

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Such healthy and helpful information. Thank you so much for sharing How To Create Your Healthiest, Whitest, Most Sparkling Smile with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

Glad to hear you found it helpful and learned something new! Thanks for sharing, Deborah!

The Pit Stop Crew would like to feature this post. Congratulations. Look for the feature on Friday.

Thanks so much! So glad you all found it valuable. I hope your readers do as well, Kathleen!

Another awesome post. I had not heard any of these except the link to heart disease. Thanks so much for bringing it to the Blogger's Pit Stop where quality is appreciated.

Kathleen. I really appreciate your encouragement. It brought a healthy smile to my face!

Taking care of our teeth is so important… I had a friend who had not and ended up with a massive infection that they told her if she had not gone to the dentist could have ultimately taken her life… it was spreading through out her body, she was on many antibiotics… I take Valentina to the dentist twice a year and I have floss in many places. I cannot stand anything between my teeth xox

Infection is a serious complication, indeed! Glad she is okay. A basic oral routine like I described here can do wonders to stop that from happening. Thanks for your story, Launna.