Often, a smile is the first thing someone notices about you. A smile can create connection, exude mood and tell a lot about a person before they even speak. A healthy and beautiful smile is not something that is achieved overnight, but rather, something to be maintained and cared for over the entirety of your life.
Whether you have a picture-perfect smile or one that needs a little bit of dental love to boost your inner confidence, there are ways to enhance your natural beauty and smile through our top 8 oral health tips that you can (and should!) implement into your daily routine today.
1.Brush your teeth twice daily.
For most, this tip is a given. For as long as we can remember we’ve all been told to brush our teeth at least twice a day. Even better if you can sneak in a quick two-minute brush after every meal. Frequent brushing helps keep your teeth in tip-top shape in both strength and appearance. When brushing, focus on your technique. Aim to brush in small circles and focus on 1-2 teeth at a time. The bristles of the brush should be at a 45-degree angle for best plaque removal.
2. Floss every day.
Brushing and flossing go hand-in-hand for basic mouth care requirements. Floss helps to remove plaque and food residue from between your teeth and under your gum line where your toothbrush cannot reasonably reach. Regular flossing (at least once a day) helps prevent tooth decay, which can lead to cavities, and gum disease like gingivitis. Although there are various flossing devices on the market, the most efficient and effective is standard nylon floss.
3. Pay attention to your drink consumption.
When it comes to drinks, water is the gold standard. Water is, by far, the best drink for your entire body, including your mouth. Water helps to clean your teeth and flush out any unnecessary toxins in your body. On the other hand, frequent consumption of drinks that are high in sugar or acid (think juices and soda) can cause a vast increase in tooth decay. It is also a good rule of thumb to avoid excessive amounts of coffee, tea, and red wine as they are well-known culprits in tooth staining. Although a lot of the superficial staining can be removed by a dental hygiene professional or with the use of teeth whitening products, these drinks can also leave stains on deeper levels of your enamel which can lead to tooth decay or other tooth issues in the future. It is best to rinse your mouth with water after you consume stain-prone drinks or use a straw when drinking them.
4.See your dental hygienist twice a year.
Regular cleanings help keep your beautiful smile and overall oral health in top shape. Schedule dental cleanings, at least, every 6 months or as advised by your dentist. From deep cleaning areas with tartar and stains to evaluating for different types of health conditions like oral cancer, the benefits of dental cleanings are imperative to a healthy lifestyle.
5. Don’t wait on important dental treatments.
Untreated tooth decay can lead to bigger issues, like larger cavities, abscesses or even tooth loss, if not taken care of in a timely manner. If left untreated for a long period of time, a simple one-surface cavity could require a root canal and crown, a procedure that is much more invasive than a small cavity. Tooth decay can spread from one tooth to another and often does if not treated quickly. Aim to maintain a strong structure for your teeth by getting the required dental treatment completed swiftly.
6. Nix smoking.
If you’re a current smoker, it’s time to nix the habit in pursuit of more positive oral health. Smoking is detrimental to healthy gums and teeth, causing gums to recede and teeth to become deeply stained. Smoking can cause serious oral health issues like gum disease and oral cancers. Talk to your dentist about the effects smoking has had on your current oral health and discuss ways to quit today.
7. Toothbrushes matter.
When perusing the dental aisle at your local pharmacy, the toothbrush selections seem quite endless. From brands, colors, and styles to bristle feel and handle design, the choices can feel overwhelming. Ideally, electronic toothbrushes are the best option as they have been clinically shown to remove more plaque than a standard toothbrush. Although they are more costly, they are made to last for years with replacement toothbrush heads running at an affordable price. If you’d prefer not to spend the extra cash on an electric toothbrush, make sure to choose the soft-bristled option for your manual counterpart. Although companies market medium and hard bristles, you want to shy away from those options as they can wear enamel and cause your gums to recede.
8. Overall health plays a role in the health of your smile.
One of the best ways to take care of your oral health is to ensure all other areas of your body are in good shape too. Health conditions that can play a role in your oral health include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Aim to choose preventative methods to have a leg up on your overall health by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and visiting your health care provider on an annual basis.
Based on the current state of your teeth, it may take a little while before you notice big changes. Focus on healthy and consistent oral hygiene and overall positive health throughout your body. If you’re interested in other ways to restore your smile, like teeth whitening or restorative dentistry, contact us. We would love to help you embrace your natural beauty through oral health.