Your toothbrush should be kept clean. Always rinse out your toothbrush after each use; you can let it air dry, too. Be sure to place your toothbrush in a proper toothbrush holder to prevent the bristles contacting anything dirty. Don't keep the toothbrush in a container; this can lead to the growth of bacteria. Buy a new toothbrush every few months. Get your child a brightly colored toothbrush with a favorite cartoon character on it. This will encourage your children to brush teeth nightly. You should also hang up a colorful chart by the bathroom sink with your children's names on it and spaces to check off every time they brush. If you frequently experience dry mouth and bad breath, you probably feel embarrassed or self-conscious when you speak with others. To remedy this problem, treat yourself to a piece of gum or hard candy that contains xylitol. You can also use a scraper or soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean the top, underside and end of your tongue once or twice daily. Brush your teeth twice a week with baking soda. Use it just like you would toothpaste normally. Baking soda will help whiten your teeth over time. You can also use regular salt as a replacement. Just remember never to swallow either, otherwise your sodium levels might get higher than they should. Eat fresh fruit rather than dried fruit to protect your teeth's health. Dried fruit sticks to your teeth, exposing them to more sugar and leading to more cavities. If you must eat dried fruit, make sure to brush, floss and rinse as soon as possible after eating so that you reduce the risk of cavities. Strengthen your existing enamel with the foods that you eat. Certain vitamins and the mineral calcium, in particular, all help out with this. Foods that are good to accomplish this with include nuts, meats and dairy choices. Avoid sugary foods, soft drinks and sweetened teas, as these will do immediate damage to your enamel. Take your time when you brush. Brushing for a minute or less is not enough time to thoroughly clean your mouth. It is recommended that you brush for at least two minutes every time you brush, but three minutes is also fine. Anything over that is too long and can be counterproductive to your oral health. If you are having a difficult time paying for necessary dental work, consider visiting a dental college. College students in the later stages of their training need real people to work on, and they will often perform work at a significantly reduced cost. All students are supervised by their professors or certified dentists, so you remain in safe hands during your procedure. If going to the dentist makes you anxious, there's several things you can do to get the dental care you need. Some dentists recommend taking anti-anxiety medication before visits and are willing to prescribe it to you for this purpose. You also want to choose a dentist who is patient with anxious patients and consider getting nitrous oxide treatments when you have dental work done. Don't neglect the importance of cleaning your tongue. A tongue scraper can help remove tongue plaque which can be the cause of bacteria buildup. The buildup of bacteria can often result in bad breath. Using a tongue scraper is much more effective than just brushing your tongue with your toothbrush. The best time to floss is before you brush your teeth. Lots of food accumulates between your teeth; therefore, you should clean in this area thoroughly. If you don't like flossing, there are special tools to facilitate it. These disposable tools are perfectly hygienic and can be trashed after each use.