7 Tips for a healthier smile
You have so many good reasons to keep your family’s teeth and gums healthy. Their sparkling smiles. Being able to chew for good nutrition. Avoiding toothaches and discomfort. And new research suggests that gum disease can lead to other problems in the body, including increased risk of heart disease.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to keep teeth strong and healthy from childhood to old age. Here’s 7 tips to lean how:
1.If you wait until you feel pain, it’s way too late.
Know this: Most dental issues don’t cause pain at first. Cavities, before they become deep, are painless. Gum disease — also silent. But once you’re wincing in pain, that means there’s probably already an infection or the pockets of your gums have become riddled with bacteria. Bottom line: Make frequent check-up appointments to nip invisible-to-you problems in the bud, and put your dentist on speed-dial should you notice any problems.
2.Limit your coffee, tea, and red wine.
Drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine are known for staining teeth. Similar to smoking, these drinks can build up a superficial stain that your dentist or hygienist can polish off. But they can also cause internal staining of your tooth enamel.
Drinking through a straw can help reduce the stain on your teeth and may help reduce the risk of tooth decay. It can also help to rinse your mouth frequently with water so the dark liquid does not sit on your teeth for a long period between meals.
3.Not all whites are right.
There’s no one-size-fits-all shade of white. If you bring in a picture of someone whose bright smile you admire, it’s entirely possible it won’t suit you. It depends on your coloring and your teeth. It’s a bit like hair color in that respect. Everyone has a different potential for whiteness.
4. Nothing can replace good, old-fashioned dental floss.
Sure, you can buy sharp little instruments at the drugstore for picking at your teeth or follow every meal with a toothpick, but until you get in between the teeth, where the surfaces abut one another, you’re not attacking the location where some of the worst bacteria hide. The truth is, brushing only gets about 50% of the nasty stuff off of your teeth. Floss is the only thing that can attack the other half. No matter how fantastically high-tech your brush is or how thoroughly you go over each tooth, you still need to floss.
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5.Reduce your cancer risk
During dental visits, ask your dentist to examine your mouth for oral cancer, particularly if you’re at high risk. And cut out tobacco: Smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheek, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and throat.
6.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 helps teeth to stay whiter and healthier than in people who brush less often.
How you brush is also important. Angle the bristles toward the gumline at a 45-degree angle, with just enough pressure to make the tissue a lighter color. Gently make small strokes, focusing on only one or two teeth at a time. This will keep your gums healthy and remove the most plaque.
7.Improve your other health conditions.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and bruxism (also known as teeth grinding) can all affect the health and appearance of your smile. When the body is strained by one health condition, it’s more difficult to treat another.
Rather than covering up symptoms, you can help improve your health through preventive methods. Eating right and getting enough exercise can dramatically improve the appearance of your body, teeth, and gums.