Beauty & Skin Care
10 Ways to Improve Your Smile
Learn easy tips to keep your teeth sparkling white and strong.
Keep Your Natural Sheen
A smile is one of the first things that people notice about someone. A beautiful Hollywood smile isn’t achieved overnight, but takes avariety of methods to help create and maintain. While we all know braces and veneers can transform someone’s appearance, here are 10 easy tips to help improve the appearance of your teeth.
Flossing removes plaque from between teeth and out from under the gumlines, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Doing this daily helps prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. When left alone, plaque and tartar accumulate under the surface of the gumlines causing periodontal disease, which results in bone destruction and tooth loss.
To floss properly, wrap your floss tightly against your tooth and gently slide up and down under the gumlines two to three times. If bleeding occurs, this is most likely due to gingivitis or gum disease. When flossing daily, the bleeding associated with mild to moderate gingivitis usually discontinues after approximately two weeks. If you just can’t stand flossing, try an oral irrigator. Studies show that oral irrigators may actually be more effective than floss. Plus they’re a lot more convenient to use.
See Your Hygienist At Least Twice A Year
Having routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health as well as a beautiful smile. When cleanings are irregular, periodontal disease can develop. While this can cause unsightly swollen, receding and bleeding gums, it is also linked to health conditions like hear tattack, stroke, diabetes, obesity, premature births and sleep apnea.
Your Hygienist Keeps You Healthy
In addition to removing stain and tartar from your teeth,your dental hygienist will also screen for health conditions like high blood pressure and oral cancer. Because many health conditions manifest themselves in the mouth, your dentist and hygienist can make you aware of systemic issues that you should follow up on with your MD.
Give Up Smoking
Smoking causes staining to the teeth, which makes a smile dingy. The stain from smoke is sometimes a superficial stain that can be polished off, but it can also soak deep into the enamel.
Smoking also inhibits healthy gums, allowing the gums to recede and develop large pockets around the teeth. This causes the teeth to appear longer and have dark spaces between them. Smoking also makes it very difficult to reverse gum disease.
Limit Your Coffee, Tea & Red Wine
Drinks like coffee, tea and red wine are known for causingstain to the teeth. Similar to smoking, the stain from these drinks can buildup a superficial stain that your dentist or hygienist can polish off, but itcan also cause internal staining of the tooth enamel as well.
Drinking through a straw can help reduce the amount of stain on your teeth and may also help reduce the risk of tooth decay. It can also help to rinse your mouth frequently with water so that the dark liquid does not sit on your teeth for a long period between meals.
Choose Your Whitening Products Carefully
Depending on your whitening needs, a variety of whitening products are available: gel pens, rinses, toothpastes, strips, over the counter trays, custom trays or laser whitening. While the choices can be overwhelming, consider what you’re using it for. Whitening toothpastes and rinses can be good to use as preventative whitening for coffee and tea drinkers. Gel pens are good for touching up small areas, such as a tooth that is shifted back that collects more stain. Custom trays and laser whitening will provide professional strength whitening and offer the most dramatic results.
Purchase a Quality Toothbrush
You get what you pay for, and when it comes to toothbrushes its no different. Top of the line electric toothbrushes are clinically shown to remove more plaque and achieve healthier gums than standard manual toothbrushes. Many now feature modes for whitening and sensitive teeth. The toothbrush bodies are made to last for years, while the heads can be changed out routinely, or for sharing among family members.
Choosing a Non-Electric Toothbrush
If you’re not ready to shell out the dough for an electric toothbrush, be sure to purchase a soft bristled manual brush. While medium and hard bristled brushes are readily available on the market, dental professionals adamantly advise against their use. Stiffer bristles and aggressive brushing causes gums to recede and can wear enamel away from the teeth.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body. It helps flush teeth clean and discourages tooth decay. Tap water is the best choice as it has the recommended dosage of fluoride. Many times bottled water comes from a source where the fluoride levels are not monitored, or contain no flouride at all. A healthy level of fluoride promotes tooth health and discourages decay.
Frequent consumption of acidic or sugary drinks increase decay rates dramatically. Athletes are quickly becoming an at-risk group as the effects of sports drinks are taking a toll on their teeth. Instead, they should be reaching for water.
Get Other Health Condition Under Control
Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and bruxism can all affect the health and appearance of your smile. When the body is strained due to one health condition, it makes it more difficult to treat another.
Rather than covering up symptoms, attempt to improve your health through preventative methods. Eating right and getting enough exercise can dramatically improve the appearance of your body, teeth, and gums.
Dental Treatment in a Timely Manner
Dental conditions never correct themselves on their own. Tooth decay if left untreated can easily transform a small cavity into a large tooth abscess. Where a tiny filling may have been all that was needed, it may now require a root canal and a crown.
Treating tooth decay early means that smaller and less invasive dental restorations will be required. This helps maintain the structure and stability of the remaining tooth, not to mention keeps treatment costs lower. If left untreated, decay can spread to other teeth and may cause infections throughout the rest of the body.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
This is a given, but many people still need to be reminded to brush their teeth at least twice a day. Because plaque can harden into tartar, frequent brushing allows the teeth to stay whiter and healthier than in people who brush infrequently.
How you brush is also important. Angle the bristles toward the gumline at a 45-degree angle, with just enough pressure to cause the tissue to blanch. Gently make small strokes, focusing on only one or two teeth at atime. Doing so will promote healthier gums and optimum plaque removal.
Good Habits Yield Good Results
It can take several days before you start to notice changes from whitening or improved oral hygiene. While these changes don’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort. A brighter smile can take years off of your appearance.