A simple smile can go a long way. The quality of your smile can affect your work life, social life, and romantic life. Yet many of us shy from smiling as often as we should, mostly because we are not confident about our smile. Throughout the years all the food we eat and poor dental hygiene can cause wear and tear on our pearly whites, resulting in a less than perfect smile.
In this article we will cover 5 ways in which you can improve your smile, minus the costly dentist visits.
- Brush your teeth properly
The single most important thing you can do to keep your teeth healthy is to brush them two to three times a day, using the proper technique. We’ve learned it in school and from our parents, but for some reason (perhaps laziness) many of us forget how to properly brush our teeth. So here’s a refresher…
- Each time you brush your teeth, you should brush for approximately two minutes. Try using a timer to help you get the timing right.
- Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle and brush in short, up-down strokes, making sure to brush the backs and fronts of all your teeth, even the hard to reach ones.
- Apply gentle pressure as you brush. Brushing too hard can actually cause permanent damage to your gums, so ease up if it feels uncomfortable.
- Don’t brush more than three times a day, or you may end up causing more harm to your teeth.
- Wait at least thirty minutes after eating before brushing your teeth to avoid spreading acid around your mouth and wearing down your enamel.
- Select the right toothbrush.
There are endless options for toothbrushes these days, but choosing the right one for you is simple enough. Look for a brush that is comfortable and makes it easy to clean your teeth thoroughly.
Dentists often recommend using an electric toothbrush, as its rotating head features bristles that can reach further due to the combination of motion and equal pressure. However, it’s possible to achieve the same results if you commit yourself to using your manual brush the right way.
- Use the right toothpaste
Plain fluoride toothpastes are best. Tartar fighting and whitening toothpastes can damage your enamel and the structure of your teeth. If you do use these products, it’s a good idea to use them for only short periods of time. For those sensitive to fluoride, baking soda is a good alternative.
- Floss Daily
We often always forget this important step to combat cavities. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease. It’s best to floss in the evening to remove all of the food particles that accumulated during the day. Following this technique:
- Use about 18 inches of floss and wrap the ends around the middle fingers on both hands. Then hold the centre of the floss taut between your thumbs and index fingers.
- As you floss between each tooth, gently work the floss up and down, reaching up to the gum line and all the way around each tooth.
- Use a clean section of floss for each tooth.
- Make sure you get floss that fits snuggly in the gaps between your teeth without causing pain.
- Watch what you eat
Most of the food we eat, especially those high in sugar or acid, can eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Other substances, like coffee, tea, and red wine, can stain your teeth. Avoid these substances if possible, and consider rinsing your mouth out with water right after you enjoy them.
- If you’re concerned about staining, try drinking dark liquids with a straw. This can also be helpful with acidic beverages, as it keeps much of the acid away from your teeth.
- Common sources of acid include energy drinks, sports drinks, sodas, citric fruit, sour candies, and vinegar.
- Smoking will also darken and stain your teeth
- Then there’s sugar, which is in nearly everything we consume. Consuming excess sugar is a sure way to rot away your teeth and induce cavities, especially if not brushing and flossing regularly.
Don’t forget your regular visit to your local dental clinic. For tough stains try a few whitening techniques to get those pearly whites free from nasty coffee or tea stains.