A healthy smile is one’s great treasure. It can boost your confidence, consequently improving your social life, career, and relationships. For these reasons, it’s essential to take care of your oral health the best way possible. With a fresh and clean feeling without any discomfort, you can get to smile bright like the sun from ear to ear.
In addition, a healthy smile has plenty of life-changing benefits you don’t want to miss. It can transform your visual aesthetics, prevent oral diseases, and save money from going to the dentist.
On the contrary, when you have something to hide inside your mouth, such as yellow stains on teeth, cracked and chipped teeth, and missing teeth, you may not feel confident to smile. In that case, finding a dentist would be your best option to help you fix dental-related issues and restore the healthy and bright-looking smile you previously had.
To achieve a healthier smile, you need to exert extra effort and perform the best practices as much as possible. With that, you might want to consider the tips below that may help you take care of your pearly whites:
1. Brush Your Teeth Daily
Brushing is the most vital step in maintaining a clean, fresh, and healthy smile. It removes dirt or buildup from the food you eat throughout the day. It also prevents the formation of plaque and cavity on your teeth to avoid tooth and gum diseases, such as gum inflammation, tooth decay, and tartar buildup.
According to American Dental Association (ADA), everyone should brush their teeth at least two times per day using a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes. In this way, you can stop the acid and sugar from the food from breaking down the enamel protection of your teeth. This layer prevents your teeth from decaying and becoming sensitive to hot and cold foods.
Here are some tips to help you brush your teeth properly:
- Choose The Right Brush: The one rule you need to follow when choosing a brush is it should have soft and tiny bristles. These bristles will be able to bend and reach the inaccessible areas above and below the gums. On the other hand, hard bristles can wear down the structure and enamel of your teeth.
- Brush As Gentle As Possible: Brushing harder doesn’t mean better. Remember, you’re brushing your teeth surrounded by sensitive gums, not your bathroom tile. So, you might want to brush your teeth as gently as possible to avoid damaging the enamel protection of your teeth and your gums. Furthermore, plaque buildups are loose, so there’s no need to scrub harder. Instead, do it like you’re massaging your teeth.
- Take Your Time When Brushing: As mentioned above, brushing should take no less than two minutes each time. However, there may be times when you’re late for school or work. But still, it’s not wise to reduce the time of brushing. You may set a timer and use it when you brush your teeth or listen to your favorite song while brushing your teeth.
- Replace Your Old Brush: Are you still holding on to your old toothbrush? Maybe it’s time to let it go and buy the one you’re eyeing for in the grocery. If your toothbrush is already dirty and its bristles become discolored and bent, don’t hesitate to throw it out. It may do more harm than good to your mouth.
- Brush The Gum Line: Most people ignore brushing the line between their teeth and gums or the gum line. If this remains dirty from the food you eat, bacteria may thrive, resulting in gum disease. Because of such, you may want to brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle, focusing on the gum line, then proceed with the rest of your teeth.
- Don’t Ignore Your Tongue: Like the gum line, people often neglect to brush their tongues in which bacteria may thrive. You may brush your tongue and the tongue-side of the teeth to eliminate the bacteria residing there. Doing so could help prevent bad breath and improve your sense of taste.
Now that you know the right way of brushing your teeth, you can guarantee that your teeth will always be clean and healthy.
2. Floss Your Teeth Daily
Flossing is a crucial step in maintaining the cleanliness of your mouth. It helps you get rid of the food debris stuck between the tiny gaps of your teeth. It also reduces bacterial and plaque formation between your teeth, preventing tartar buildup that may lead to gum disease and cavity.
However, only a small group of people floss their teeth along with brushing. According to experts, only four out of ten people floss their teeth.
Of course, simply doing it will not be enough. You should know the proper way of flossing to ensure that you’re not damaging your gums while removing the tiniest of the debris between your teeth.
Also, dental floss may come in different variants. The best type that suits you will depend on your needs, considering the space between your teeth, braces, and bridges. Here are some types of floss you might need to know:
- Dental Tape: Dental tapes are wide and flat like paper. These are designed to help you clean wide gaps between your teeth easily. These are also perfect for those who have braces.
- Standard Floss: Unlike dental tapes, standard floss is a nylon strand with a width that can fit the tiny gaps between your teeth. Some varieties have flavors, and others are wax coated. It is perfect for people with crowded and closer teeth structure.
- Super Floss: Unlike others mentioned above, super floss is a threader consisting of three parts: a stiff end for areas between the teeth, a sponge floss for cleaning around the teeth, and a regular floss to remove plaque buildup along the gumline.
Nowadays, you can use devices to replace traditional flosses. These include water flosses, and they use water pressure to eliminate plaque buildup between teeth. Also, these are helpful when cleaning your braces, especially the brackets and wires.
3. Visit A Professional Dentist At Least Twice A Year
Having regular dental checkups is essential in maintaining oral health and a confident smile. Experts suggest visiting your dentist every six months to assess the condition of your teeth and address underlying issues. Some issues include gum problems, tooth decay, chipped teeth, etc.
For each checkup, make sure to undergo oral prophylaxis or the standard dental cleaning procedures. This is to remove plaque, cavities, and other dirt built up over time.
Also, your dentist or dental hygienist may screen you for other possible conditions, such as high blood pressure and oral cancer. This is because many health conditions manifest their symptoms in the mouth, and these professionals can help you identify them. In that case, you need to follow these up with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the bad practices you have to avoid to achieve and maintain good oral health and a bright smile. You may not realize it, but smoking can significantly damage your gums, teeth, and mouth. In severe cases, it may even lead to critical conditions, such as mouth-related cancers.
On top of that, here are other dental problems due to smoking:
- Halitosis or abnormal bad breath
- Tooth staining and discoloration
- Inflammation of the salivary gland
- Lower chances of successful dental implant procedures
- Leukoplakia or white mouth patches
- Loss of jaw bone
- The delayed recovery period after major and minor dental surgery, such as tooth extraction
Smoking is also related to gum disease since such products can affect the linkage of bone and the soft tissue of your teeth. In addition, it can prevent gum tissues from doing their functions. For this reason, you could be more vulnerable to infections, including periodontal disease and irregular blood circulation within the gums.
If you want to quit smoking, you may visit your doctor to suppress your nicotine cravings. Your doctor may prescribe you some medications, such as nicotine patches and gums. You can purchase these over the counter, but some medications may require your doctor’s prescription, such as Zyban.
5. Limit Consumption Of Coffee, Tea, And Wine
Coffee, tea, and wine, particularly colored red wine and others with dark rich color, are proven to cause teeth staining, just like smoking. These stains are visible on the surface of the teeth, but they can also stain deep within the tooth enamel.
Fortunately, there’s no need for you to worry if you’re a fan of drinking coffee, tea, and red wine. Your dentist can remove these stains through oral cleaning every six months (biannual cleaning). All you need to do is ensure to receive dental cleaning regularly.
In addition, you may reduce the stains by using straws, which can also prevent tooth decay. You may also consider rinsing your mouth with clean water to remove the traces of colored liquids in your mouth.
On the other hand, you may brush your teeth with baking soda once every two weeks to remove the stains and whiten your teeth. You may also try brushing your teeth with certified whitening toothpaste and strips.
6. Use A Quality Toothbrush
Automatic toothbrushes are on the rise, but are they worth your money? According to experts, electric toothbrushes are more effective when removing plaque buildups than regular and manual ones, promoting good gum health.
Nowadays, an electric toothbrush may come with different features, such as whitening and intensive cleaning for sensitive gums and teeth. Others have a hose connected to a water source in which pressurized water blasts the dirt between the teeth.
In addition, its body is designed to last for years. All you need to do is replace the head when it gets dirty or when its bristles are bent. You may also share the body of the device, but don’t forget to change the brush every time someone uses it.
But if you’re not ready to replace your good ol’ manual toothbrush, make sure to purchase one with soft and thin bristles. As mentioned above, these will help you clean hard-to-reach areas, especially the gum line. Again, avoid using those with stiff bristles to avoid damaging your gums, which may result in unwanted inflammation and bleeding.
Also, stiff bristles can wear off the tooth enamel or the natural protection of your teeth, making them too sensitive to hot and cold foods.
7. Improve Other Health Conditions
Medical conditions may affect the quality of your oral health and the look of your smile. These conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, bruxism (involuntary grinding of teeth), or obesity. If you have one of these conditions, treating them may be difficult.
In that case, the best possible way is to consult your doctor and look for treatments that will help you improve your condition. It would also be better to prevent these by eating healthy and nutritious foods and getting enough physical activities and exercise. These measures will help you improve the appearance of your teeth, gums, and of course, your body.
8. Seek Dental Treatment Immediately
Dental conditions need immediate treatment. If not treated as soon as possible, it can lead to something more damaging. For example, simple tooth decay can cause tooth abscess. At first, it may only need some filling to address the issue, but if ignored for a long time, it may need a more complicated procedure, particularly a root canal or a dental crown because of the tooth abscess.
Treating dental conditions as early as possible means less invasive and cheaper dental procedures. In addition, early treatments help preserve the structure of your teeth. If left untreated, these conditions may spread to other teeth or the body, causing infections.
A healthy smile is one’s remarkable asset. That’s why it’s essential to learn all the techniques and secrets that will help you maintain a brighter smile that spreads out from ear to ear. These tips are created to prevent dental issues and have good oral health.
Some tips include brushing and flossing teeth properly, quitting smoking, visiting your dentist regularly, and limiting consumption of colored beverages. Also, you may consider using electric toothbrushes for more effective cleaning practices.
Furthermore, ensure to receive immediate treatment if you have any dental problems to prevent them from becoming worse.