"It's a Game Changer": Just 3 Sexy Products to up Your Oral Hygiene Game.

Oral hygiene is hardly the sexiest of beauty topics. But then again, neither is bad breath.

We all know how to brush our teeth - hopefully? - but while oral hygiene starts with a toothbrush and toothpaste, turns out there’s more we could be doing.

(And I’m not just talking about flossing, because yes, your dentist can tell when you haven't been doing it.)

From the facts on at-home teeth whitening to WTF is tongue scraping, keep scrolling for three ways you can up your oral hygiene game.

1. What Is Tongue Scraping and Should You Use a Tongue Scraper for Bad Breath?

First up, let's talk about tongue scraping.

Tongue scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves using a specific tool to, put simply, scrape the gunk off your tongue.

“Bacteria sits on your tongue and throughout the mouth, so by regularly scraping your tongue, you help to clear the amount of bacteria in your mouth, decreasing the chances of developing gum disease or cavities,” explains dentist Dr Aran Moorthy, owner of Perth’s Oxford Street Dental.

“By eliminating bacteria, you’re also helping to improve bad breath. Plus, you’ll improve the appearance of your tongue and it will feel a lot cleaner!”

The Black Chicken Remedies Copper Tongue Cleaner is a great, affordable tongue scraper to add into your morning teeth cleaning routine for better breath, a cleaner tongue and generally improved oral hygiene. Described as a “game changer” in several reviews, you won’t know how you ever did without.

How do you use a tongue scraper? Good question. Wake up, toddle to the bathroom, open your mouth and place the curved end of the scraper onto the back of your tongue before pulling it all the way forward. What comes off your tongue is gross, but oddly satisfying.

2. At-Home Teeth Whitening vs. In-Chair Teeth Whitening at the Dentist.

Less ‘necessary’ and more voluntary is teeth whitening. 

Of course, after years watching Hollywood smiles and increasingly snow white chompers on influencers, the desire for whiter, brighter teeth is high. 

But how does in-chair whitening vs take-home compare? Is there an at-home teeth whitening dentist equivalent? And is it even recommended to attempt at-home teeth whitening DIY?

According to Dr Joseph Badr, dentist and founder of online dental service DSmile Care, a survey commissioned by the site found one in three Aussies have attempted at-home whitening. And 35 per cent have been influenced to do things to their teeth by the YouTube or social influencers they follow.

FYI, Hannah and Jo asked a dentist every question you've ever had about teeth whitening on the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast, get it in your ears below!

Ultimately, the main difference between professional and at-home options is the result you'll get.

“Professional teeth whitening delivers far more rapid results than at-home kits, due to the type and strength of active ingredients integrated into the formula. This is alongside being safer and more reliable as the treatment is administered by a qualified dental professional,” explains Dr Badr.

“While at-home whitening kits can look easy and affordable at a first glance, multiple treatments will be needed as the efficacy is significantly reduced, and if used incorrectly, can cause damage to your teeth and gums.”

We’ve all heard, whether from a friend or a stranger on Instagram, about a case of at-home teeth whitening DIY gone wrong.

Whatever you do in your search for the best at-home teeth whitening in Australia, avoid mixing your own concoction based on a Google recipe. Promise? OK.

“These should be avoided at all costs to prevent damage. Whitening kits that have gone through testing processes and professional whitening practices are by far the better options,” says Dr Badr.

“We also recommend professional cleans twice a year with your dentist or hygienist to remove stubborn stains.”

For a gentler at-home option, try something like Mr Bright Whitening Strips. Hydrogen peroxide-free, the handy strips can be used 30 minutes a day for 14 days to help add a little sparkle to your smile.

However, teeth whitening isn’t suitable for everyone.

“If you are pregnant, have sensitive teeth, carious lesions, obvious holes in your teeth, gum disease, cavities or are undergoing any ongoing dental treatment, you should not use dental strips,” advises Dr Moorthy.

He also recommends only using if you are over 18 as "adolescent teeth are still maturing and have weaker tooth enamel, which can easily be damaged by bleaching formulas.”

3. Natural Toothpaste - What Is It and Does It Work?

With a growing number of people looking for ‘clean’ or natural alternatives to their beauty products, we come to natural toothpaste.

Typically, dentists don’t recommend natural toothpaste because of the omission of fluoride.

“Fluoride is highly beneficial for teeth and is perfectly safe at the levels administered in toothpaste,” says Dr Moorthy.

“It helps ‘seal’ the enamel and is highly effective in preventing cavities.”

If you do choose to use a natural toothpaste, try to avoid those with added charcoal or salt, which can be quite abrasive.

Tasting of mint, anise and spice, the Aesop Toothpaste uses sea buckthorn, cardamon and wasabia japonica to cleanse the mouth and gums. 

And yes, it'll look chic AF in your bathroom, too.

Now, all that's left is to... remember to actually do it all. Good luck!

Feature image: @mrbright_smile