Fifty percent of people say that the first thing they notice about a person is their smile, according to a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. If your teeth are chipped, discolored, or damaged, this can affect your willingness to smile. But not to worry, a healthy and white smile is attainable if you follow these dental tips:
Toss Your Brush
The average toothbrush contains millions of bacteria, which includes E.coli and Staph, according to the University of Manchester in England. Replacing your brush gets rid of those pesky germs that linger on your brush even after washing. Don’t forget to replace your brush or brush head, if using an electric toothbrush every three months. Be sure to also replace your brush when its bristles get frayed and after each time you are sick. Always use a soft brush when brushing your teeth. “Hard bristles actually wear down your tooth structure,” says dentist Maricelle Abayon from Rochester, New York.
A healthy diet is good for our bodies and for our teeth. Eating healthy provides us with the nutrients and fiber we need to keep our teeth strong, healthy and free from disease. Eating foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates such as candy, juices and smoothies can increase the production of plaque acids that attack the enamel of our teeth. Based on studies, one exception could be dark chocolate. For healthy, strong teeth, stick to fibrous whole fruits and vegetables instead of juices or smoothies. The fiber in these whole fruits and veggies helps to naturally rinse away bacteria and food particles from the teeth. Leafy greens also help promote oral health because they are high in calcium and folic acid which may help treat gum disease according to the American Dental Association.
Brushing your teeth is key to healthy teeth and gums. Toothpaste contains fluoride that helps teeth become resistant to decay and even helps remove early decay. Gently brush your gums as well as your tongue while you brush your teeth to remove any food particles and plaque. You don’t need to brush your teeth too hard. Plaque itself is loose and soft, so you don’t need to scrub. Try not to rush through brushing your teeth. Turn on the timer on your phone or put on your favorite song while brushing. Make sure to brush your teeth between two to three minutes for optimal protection against cavities. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, “It takes two minutes for the tooth enamel to take in the fluoride in toothpaste, making the tooth surface more resistant to bacteria.”
Floss Every Day
Flossing twice daily is very helpful in removing decay causing plaque. It is a very important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Flossing regularly might seem like an annoyance, but it takes only a minute or two and helps remove food and bacteria stuck in the spaces between the teeth that brushing or mouthwash can’t remove. When these spaces between the teeth are left unclean, it can lead to plaque and tartar, as well as bad breath. Keep your teeth healthy and fresh by flossing twice daily, especially before bed and in the morning.
Visit Your Dentist
A professional dental cleaning from your dentist every six months will help remove any buildup of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky film that contains bacteria that hardens and becomes tartar. If tartar is not cleaned, it can start to produce acids that damage the bone that supports the teeth. This can cause periodontal disease which can lead to tooth loss. Your dentist will also be able to check for plaque, cavities and any other dental problems during your checkup. When caught early, teeth and gum problems are much easier to treat, keeping your teeth healthy and pain-free.
Smoking is bad for your health, especially your lungs and your heart. Smoking is also very bad for your gums and mouth. Smoking discolors the teeth, making them turn yellow in just a short amount of time. Long term smoking can turn teeth brown, due to the nicotine and tar in cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco can also wear down your teeth which can expose the roots of the teeth leaving them more susceptible to decay. Smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco allows harmful chemicals to come into direct contact with teeth and gums, causing rapid tooth decay, gum disease, and even oral cancer.