Eight Ways to Keep a Healthy Smile
A healthy smile can win the hearts of many. However, a few of us struggle to keep our smiles healthy. If you are one of them, you can simply improve your smile by maintaining your oral health. Your dental hygiene will not only contribute to your smile, but it can also be beneficial for your overall well-being. Some lifestyle changes will serve the purpose so let's discuss how to keep a healthy smile and restore self-confidence.
1. Floss Daily
Many of us ignore flossing. Often, we think that it won’t really help, but flossing can boost your oral health by removing food particles and bacteria. After eating, some prefer to use a toothpick to remove the food particles stuck between teeth, but a toothpick might not be as effective as flossing.
Even if you brush your teeth regularly, you should consider flossing daily to eliminate all the unwanted food from between your teeth. Flossing is easy and can be done by anyone. This simple and traditional method can limit your time spent in the dentist’s chair.
Flossing will foster healthy gums and teeth. You just need to know the right way to floss in order to maximize the benefits. When not done properly, flossing can damage the gum line.
The best way to floss is to wrap the ends of the floss around each index finger and maintain a two-inch distance between fingers. Make sure to unroll a fresh section of floss for each tooth. While flossing, you need to keep it tight against your teeth to remove the plaque without damaging your gums.
If you avoid flossing, food deposits can cause serious dental issues including gingivitis and periodontal disease. You should floss daily for a healthy smile.
2. Visit Your Hygienist At Least Twice a Year
Having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year is considered important to good oral health. However, some of us have a cleaning only a few times in life. Oral hygiene is a must to keep most dental problems at bay.
You should visit your dentist twice a year for preventative cleanings, known as prophylaxis when the gums are healthy. It will minimize the risk of cavities and many other oral diseases. Even if your teeth are properly maintained and healthy, your hygienist will suggest a preventative cleaning twice a year for many good reasons.
Any preventative cleaning will boost the appearance of your teeth while removing the bacteria. Even after a preventative cleaning, bacteria will start to re-colonize, and you cannot eliminate them completely with the best dental practices at home. Therefore, you should consider preventative cleaning every six months to remove the plaque and bacteria before they can cause any noticeable damage.
There are also some other benefits to dental cleaning. During the cleaning, the dental hygienist or dentist can detect any issues and treat the conditions.
If an issue is detected at an early stage, you will spend less time and money on the treatment and also prevent gum diseases. Some gum diseases can be quite harmful, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
3. Give Up Smoking
Smoking can harm your physical and mental health in more than one way. We all are aware of the impacts of smoking on our bodies, but we should know that smoking is detrimental to our oral health. Not only can tar and nicotine change the appearance of your teeth by making them yellow, and is a leading cause of gum disease. Gum disease associated with smoking harms the tissue and bones that support your teeth.
As a result, you can experience tooth decay and possibly suffer from more severe issues such as oral cancer. So, do a favor for yourself and avoid smoking. Initially, it will not be easy to quit smoking, but you can quit gradually and then quit it completely after a while. Once you quit smoking, you will notice many positive changes in your overall well being including your oral health. Now is the time to talk to your dentist to learn how smoking negatively affects your smile and dental health.
4. Drink Fewer Colored Drinks
We all love beverages and prefer to enjoy them whenever possible, but do you know that your beverage is impacting your smile? They can definitely be a contributor to your poor oral health. Coffee, juice, red wine, and your favorite tea are the biggest culprits.
These beverages have color pigments known as chromogens that can cause staining and cavities. These chromogens are intense and can attach to your white enamel and affect the look. To avoid this, you will have to cut down your favorite teeth-straining beverages to maintain whiter teeth and a healthier smile.
Of course, it is not always possible to avoid these beverages completely, but you can minimize the consumption. Also, take extra caution after consuming them. You can use fluoride toothpaste to counteract the stains, and use teeth whitening products to reverse the damage and create a beautiful smile.
To help avoid staining, you can drink an adequate amount of water instead of beverages and sugary drinks. Water can help to maintain oral hygiene while keeping the mouth moist. Water will also wash away bacteria and food particles, which will help minimize many oral issues such as cavities. So, replace your beverages with water to keep a healthy smile.
5. Choose Cleaning and Whitening Products Carefully
Most of us prefer to use teeth whitening and cleaning products to treat stained teeth. However, all whitening products are not made equally. More importantly, they might not be effective for cleaning stained teeth, causing more damage instead of improving the condition.
There are different types of teeth whitening products. Some of them can be effective to boost your smile and restore your confidence. If you are planning to use a teeth whitening product, consult your dentist beforehand. There is a product for everyone and your dentist will know which one is designed for you. He or she is the best person to help you with the right solution.
6. Use a Quality Toothbrush
Have you ever given extra attention to choosing a toothbrush? If not, you should do so. Buy a brush that has soft bristles and is the right size for your teeth. Make sure that the head size is correct for your mouth and will not cause any problem while brushing the back of your teeth. Remember that bacteria can easily hide in hard to reach areas.
The bristles need to be soft and small enough to cover the gap between the teeth. If you buy a brush with hard bristles, then it can wear down your gums and teeth. So, be smart and always choose a quality brush to maximize the benefits of brushing. And don’t forget that you need to replace your brush regularly.
A brush can last up to three months if used properly. When you notice that the bristles are starting to bend, you should replace it fast. Otherwise, it will not serve its purpose.
You may also want to consider using an electronic toothbrush such as the Oral B®, which has a rounded head just like your hygienist uses. An electronic toothbrush also helps prevent you from brushing too hard causing gum recession.
7. Brush At Least Twice a Day
The first step to maintaining oral hygiene is brushing. Brushing is important to have a healthy smile. It can prevent many oral issues including cavities. Dentists, along with The American Dental Association, recommend brushing twice a day.
Don’t forget that you will need to get the right brush and toothpaste with fluoride. You can consider any fluoride toothpaste. Regular brushing will minimize plaque, which is a sticky film that contains bacteria and can damage your teeth over time.
Also, follow the right techniques to remove all the food particles between your teeth. For the right technique, you need to position the brush to the gums at a 45-degree angle and brush the outer surface with gentle and short strokes.
Follow the same technique to brush the entire surface of your teeth, including the top and the back. Remember to include cleaning your tongue by brushing it gently and then rinsing your mouth as well as rinsing the brush.
8. Don't Let Tooth and Gum Issues Fester
If you have developed the habit of ditching your dentist, this could lead to many oral issues. Some dental problems may be life-threatening so you will need to visit your dentist regularly for an oral health check-up.
You may end up spending some money on regular visits, but regular consultations will reduce any treatment costs in the long run. Also, you should never ignore minor issues. Some people do not pay attention to bleeding gums and tooth pain. They avoid dental visits due to the fear of what treatment plans may cost, but if you don’t see your dentist regularly, you may end up spending much more when the issue becomes severe.
Keep in mind, what seems to be a minor dental issue can lead to tooth decay, trauma, and gum diseases when not addressed immediately. Also, regular visits can detect life-threatening diseases such as cancer, which is treatable if detected at an early stage.
Develop all these healthy habits and act smart to have a healthy smile!