Here are steps to a better and brighter smile. Most people consider it your most important feature. Your smile. It’s probably no surprise that a bright, white smile can make you appear younger and more attractive. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a whopping 96 per cent of respondents surveyed believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing.
The mouth is the gateway to the body. Which means the state of your teeth and gums affects your overall health. By following these steps to a better smile, you’ll be taking important strides for the rest of your body, too.
Brushing is the cornerstone of dental hygiene. It removes food particles that bacteria feed on, cleans teeth, and freshens breath. A toothpaste with fluoride helps strengthen teeth. But you must brush for at least two minutes to allow it to do its work.
Flossing removes the bacteria from in between your teeth that your toothbrush does not reach, which helps prevent gum disease. It is recommended flossing twice a day, but if you only do it once daily. Be sure to floss before bedtime. When you sleep, you produce less saliva, which leaves teeth and gums particularly vulnerable to bacteria.
Visit your dentist
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. Your dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease. Which is more easily treated when caught in the beginning stages. If you are prone to gum disease and cavities, consider visiting your dentist every four months.
Similarly, if you have other health conditions that put you at higher risk for dental problems, ask your dentist how often you should have an exam. A special dental-hygiene regimen should be considered for pregnant women, people with diabetes, and anyone undergoing chemotherapy treatment or using medications that can affect the gums (such as antiepileptics) or dry out the mouth (including some psychiatric medications).
Eat a healthy diet
Include plenty of dairy and other calcium-rich foods, like sardines and kale, in your diet. Calcium helps maintain strong bones and teeth, and vitamin C in citrus fruits boosts gum health.
Equally important to what you do eat is what you don’t. Sugary and sticky foods that stick to the crevices of your teeth are particularly bad, as bacteria feed off the sugars and release acids that cause cavities.
Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco
People who smoke are four times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease, according to a study by the Journal of Periodontology. Using smokeless tobacco increases a person’s risk for oral cancers, including lip, tongue, cheeks, and gums. On a smaller scale, tobacco products contribute to bad breath or halitosis.
While the benefits are solely cosmetic, with today’s products, whitening is a very safe procedure that will not harm your teeth as long as the products are used as directed and you are under the care of a dentist. Speak to your dentist before undergoing any whitening procedure to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy.
Consider cosmetic procedures
The first thing a person sees when they meet you is your smile, and having crooked, stained, or missing teeth can affect your confidence. There have been great advances in cosmetic dentistry over the past decade, and it is possible to fix most cosmetic problems.
Avoid drinks like soda and coffee
Avoid drinks like soda and coffee that can stain your teeth. However, most cosmetic dentistry is not covered by insurance, and it can be costly. It’s important to schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist before undergoing any type of procedure.