Spring has officially sprung in Edmonton, and everyone is welcoming the warmer weather. Now is the perfect time to get that garage cleaned out as you wanted, sort through the junk drawers, and finish your spring cleaning. What could also use some tidying up and spring cleaning is your oral health.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Teeth

Spring is about new growth and change. After a long, cold winter, it’s time to flash those pearly whites more often and tune up your tools. Here’s what you should do first:

1) Replace your toothbrush: Replacing your toothbrush is a good habit to get into as an old one can be the perfect home for bacteria and viral infections. Most dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every three months or after an illness like a cold. Over time, the bristles on your toothbrush head will wear down, making it ineffective when trying to reach the small crevices in the back of your mouth. To keep your oral health top notch, toss your toothbrush at least every three months.

2) Check your mouthwash: Did you know mouthwash has an expiry date? If you didn’t, you better check yours now. If you notice it tastes a little off, that’s a good indicator you need to get a new bottle. If you are using a mouthwash that is past its shelf life, you may as well be rinsing out your mouth with water because it isn’t effective anymore.

Related: 5 Tips for Preventing Cavities

3) Minimize harmful chemicals: Get into the true spirit of spring, and change your maybe not-so-great habits. Harmful chemicals can alter the look and structure of your teeth, so it’s critical that you stop as much destruction as possible. Bad habits like smoking and chewing tobacco can have detrimental effects on your teeth and gums. They can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and, in worst case scenarios, oral cancer. If you want improved oral health this spring or health in general, it’s time to kick these bad habits to the curb.

4) Let go of your stress: Spring is the time to get more active outdoors once the snow has melted away. Being outside is good for your health, and many outdoor activities are great stress relievers. When you have a lot of stress in your life, be it from work or personal matters, your oral health and overall health start to suffer. When a person is stressed out, it’s common for them to grind their teeth. When you grind your teeth, you can actually loosen them or cause fractures. If you find yourself grinding your teeth regularly, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to prevent any ongoing damage to your smile. A healthier option would be to find a way to reduce the amount of stress in your life.

5) Schedule an appointment with your dentist: Once you’ve finished doing everything else, the last task on your list to get your smile spring ready is to book a dentist appointment. He or she will help get your smile in tip-top shape to flash when you’re having all that fun outside. If you’ve been avoiding the dentist during the winter, you’ll probably have some work to do. Your dentist will spot any problems and will fix them before they get any bigger. Spring is a great time to book a dentist appointment as it usually doesn’t interfere with vacation plans. Get your smile out of hibernation and ready for the spring sunshine. Replace your oral health accessories, change your habits, de-stress, and book a dentist appointment to spring your oral health out of its winter blues.