Having a bright, healthy smile helps to instill a stronger sense of self-confidence. Unfortunately, if you’re like the vast majority of people, you’re probably less than satisfied with the way your teeth and smile look. Luckily, having a healthy looking smile isn’t all that difficult, and by following these six simple steps, you could easily be on your way to having a smile that you can actually smile about.
1. Visit the Dentist More Often
Regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings are some of the biggest keys to maintaining a bright, healthy smile. Unfortunately, statistics show that the majority of Americans don’t go to the dentist nearly often enough. Despite the fact that everyone should see the dentist at least twice a year, many people only end up visiting the dentist once a year, if that. However, many dentists actually recommend that adults should see the dentist every 90 days or so.
During a teeth cleaning session, the dentist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and also kills most of the bacteria that cause tartar to form. The problem is that this bacteria begins to grow again very quickly, and the only way to fully eliminate it is to clean the teeth again. In this sense, waiting six months or more in between dental visits could potentially make it much more difficult to maintain a healthy smile. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you see the dentist at least three or four times a year if possible.
2. Be Proactive About Your Healthcare
One major problem that many people have with their oral health is that they wait far too long before having any potential issues checked out. Cavities and other dental problems generally don’t cause pain at first, and when you do experience dental pain, it is usually a sign that the problem has progressed to something far more serious. This means that it is essential that you stay proactive about your dental health and immediately schedule an appointment to visit your dentist at the first sign of a problem. If you wait until you actually start experiencing pain, the problem will usually be much more extensive and thus more difficult and costly to repair.
3. Use the Right Equipment
Even if you brush your teeth two or three times a day, you could potentially be harming your smile simply due to using the wrong equipment. Most dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush in order to prevent damaging your gums and potentially causing them to recede. Even better is using an electric toothbrush, as studies show that people who use electric toothbrushes tend to have less plaque and tartar. It is also recommended to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride to help prevent and repair damage to your teeth.
4. Don’t Forget to Floss
One of the biggest issues that most people have with their oral health is that they neglect flossing. Brushing your teeth two to three times a day is all well and good, but the problem is that no amount of brushing will ever be able to fully remove plaque, tartar and food particles from in between your teeth. Therefore, it is essential that you remember to brush your teeth at least once a day and preferably after every meal. Although it may seem simple, flossing your teeth daily is one of the biggest keys to maintaining a healthy smile.
5. Pay Attention to Your Diet
Compared to brushing and flossing, your diet is equally as important to your oral health. What you eat has a direct impact on the health of your teeth and gums, and consuming too many sugary or acidic foods has the potential to cause cavities, gum disease and numerous other oral health issues. Skipping the sugary drinks and snacks as much as possible can provide a huge boost to your smile, and if you are the type of person that often craves sweet things, you might want to consider switching to sugar-free foods and drinks that contain xylitol, as this sugar substitute can actually provide many benefits to the teeth. Consuming a well-balance diet that is high in vitamins and minerals isn’t only good for your overall health, but it can also help to boost your chances of having a bright, white, healthy smile.
6. Know When and How to Brush
Simply brushing your teeth two to three times a day isn’t enough, as it is also important that you know exactly how and when to brush. Brushing with the proper technique is important to ensure that you fully clean every part of your teeth, and this is especially true if you still use a traditional toothbrush. Technique isn’t quite as important with an electric toothbrush, since it does most of the work for you. However, you should still do your research or ask your dentist for advice to ensure that you know the correct way to brush.
As well, it is also important that you know when and when not to brush. Although you should definitely brush at least twice a day, it is recommended that you avoid brushing for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything sugary or acidic. The reason is that any sugary or acidic foods that you eat or drink can actually have the effect of softening up your enamel. If you brush too soon after eating or drinking, you could end up stripping away part of this enamel and thus damaging your teeth.
Your teeth and smile are incredibly important both for your health and your sense of confidence. No one wants to lose their teeth early or face the pain and expense of root canals or other dental procedures. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you follow these steps to ensure that your smile looks beautiful and your teeth stay healthy for years to come.