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Word of Mouth: 8 Healthy Teeth Tips

According to Dr. Seuss, “Teeth are always in style.” And we couldn’t agree more. But what’s the secret to a picture-perfect smile, minty-fresh breath, and good-looking gums? Brush up on your oral health with these top tips from Gregory G. Olsen, DDS, FICOI, at Folsom Oral Surgery and Implant Center (; and Ryan Grandpre, DDS, at Kids Care Dental ( in Roseville.

1) Fluoride Is Your Friend. Fluoride, aka nature’s cavity fighter, is a mineral found in the earth’s core. Before our teeth come in, our body absorbs it through nutrients to help build a resistance to tooth decay. Once our teeth are in, brushing or using other dental products with fluoride helps rebuild the eroded enamel and reverse the effects of tooth decay. With the risk of tooth decay lowered by using fluoride products, your chances of a heart attack or stroke also decrease.—Gregory G. Olsen, DDS, FICOI

2) Eat More Veggies. Fresh vegetables do wonders for your teeth. They help clean plaque and keep you healthy, plus the vitamins and nutrients found in them can protect gums and other tissues. Staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet is an important part of good oral hygiene.—Ryan Grandpre, DDS, Kids Care Dental
3) Rinse the Right Way. Contrary to popular belief, you’re not supposed to rinse your mouth with only water immediately after brushing. When you do this, you take all that wonderful fluoride (see tip #1) and spit it down the drain without giving it enough time to attach to your teeth and patch up all the worn-down enamel. Instead, rinse with water before you spit the foamy leftover toothpaste out or use a fluoride rinse after brushing. —Gregory G. Olsen, DDS, FICOI

Routine dental checkups are essential to a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.


4) Visit the Dentist Regularly. The dentist will clean your teeth and treat any potential little problems before they turn into big ones. Routine dental checkups are essential to a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.—Ryan Grandpre, DDS, Kids Care Dental

5) Know When to Toss Your Toothbrush. Your toothbrush only needs to stick around for about three months, or until the bristles start to fray. When they begin to fray, your brush won’t do its job properly, leaving your mouth defenseless against harmful bacteria.—Gregory G. Olsen, DDS, FICOI

6) Drink More Water. Drinking water with fluoride in it, usually in your local tap water, can be one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities. Start off small by drinking two cups every morning or replacing one of your many cups of coffee for water.—Gregory G. Olsen, DDS, FICOI

7) Floss Regularly. Plaque is a real party enamel and likes to hang out on your teeth. Letting it sit around for too long may lead to serious problems. Brushing won’t fight plaque alone, so include regular flossing in your teeth-cleaning routine.—Ryan Grandpre, DDS, Kids Care Dental

8) Brush Up on Your Brushing. The ADA recommends that you brush gently, in short strokes, at a 45-degree angle for two minutes. This prevents the bristles from removing the enamel that protects your teeth. When brushing the backs of your teeth, it’s best to turn the brush vertically and make multiple short strokes on every tooth.—Gregory G. Olsen, DDS, FICOI 

Healthy Teeth Tool Kit

Oral B Complete Battery Powered Toothbrush, $9.99 at Nugget Markets, 4500 Post Street, El Dorado Hills, 916-933-1433; 771 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville, 916-746-7799; 1509 Blue Oaks Boulevard, Roseville, 916-918-1900,

Oral B Complete Battery Powered Toothbrush


Hello Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste, $6.49 at Raley’s, multiple locations,

Hello Naturally Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste


Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 40 oz. Water Bottle, $49.95 at Placerville Food Co-op, 535 Placerville Drive, Placerville, 530-621-3663, 

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth 40 oz. Water Bottle


Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss, $4.99 at Whole Foods Market, 270 Palladio Parkway, Folsom, 916-984-8500; 1001 Galleria Boulevard, Roseville, 916-781-5300,

Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss


Tom’s of Maine Children’s Anticavity Strawberry Mouthwash, $8.49 at Sunrise Natural Foods, 1950 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville, 916-789-8591; 2160 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn, 530-888-8973,

Tom’s of Maine Children’s Anticavity Strawberry Mouthwash


by Megan Wiskus

Header photo ©bondarillia - Smile photo ©xavier gallego morel - Product photos courtesy of their respective companies or organizations.