Watch TV, look at a billboard, or see a movie, and one thing that’s probably going to strike you instantly is all the perfect Hollywood smiles that are out there.
Oral Hygiene and Your smile:
Of course, healthy teeth have the practical function of helping us eat. But that perfectly aligned, bright smile is something that a lot of people aim for, but don’t know where to start. The good news is that the science behind oral care and appearance is more advanced than ever! You can put this knowledge to good use.
What Defines Oral Health?
The main place that you want to start when it comes to keeping a beautiful smile is practicing good oral care habits. As a starter, you probably already know about brushing regularly, but you may also need to practice proper brushing technique to reap the full benefit of that brushing time. The American Dental Association recommends starting by holding your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
At this point, using short back and forth strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth. After doing that, be sure to hold the brush vertically, using several shorter strokes on the backs of your teeth. Certain areas are likely to develop plaque compared to others.
You also want to use proper complementary techniques when it comes to brushing your teeth. For example, flossing, using mouthwash, and even brushing your tongue should all be a part of your brushing regimen to make sure all parts of your mouth are clear and that bacteria doesn’t have time to develop. As a final point, make sure that you swap out your brush as needed. If it becomes brittle or frayed, it’s little use to you.
When You Might Need Professional Help
Good oral health habits are always going to be the foundation of a healthy smile. But they aren’t going to solve every issue all the time. Some people may not know what to do until they already see the impact of it on their teeth. Others may practice good habits, but still, have damaged or lost teeth due to accidents or other outside issues. In these situations, cosmetic dentistry can still help you create a lovely smile. There are a variety of different options on hand, matching any condition, preference, or price range.
For starters, if your teeth are in good shape, but need a little help with their coloration, it may be a good idea to look into teeth whitening. Generally, when this is done, people have custom trays of their teeth made at the dentist office. These are then filled with a whitening solution and put over your teeth for periods of time that your dentist will show you.
As a note, not every tooth is able to be whitened, so verify with your dentist first. Veneers may be a more expensive alternative, a thin shell customized to go on the front side of the teeth. On top of covering discolored teeth, this can also be used for crooked and chipped teeth.
For missing teeth, you may be better suited to using something like a dental implant. This is probably the most involved of all the different options but is indistinguishable from a normal tooth to the untrained eye. These are made by an implant being put on top of the jaw or in the jaw, depending on your preference. No one actually sees the implant, though. The visual component is a replacement tooth placed on top of the implant. The drawback here is that this whole process takes place over the course of several months, normally.
Your Diet and Your Teeth
Finally, we can’t ignore the importance of what you eat on your teeth. Ideally, you’re getting a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods from all the different major groups, but certain foods stand apart because they have nutrients that are helpful for the teeth and gums. These nutrients include:
Calcium: You already know that this helps with strong bones and teeth. What you may not know if you’re not limited to dairy foods to get it. Canned salmon, dark leafy green vegetables, and almonds are standout alternate calcium sources.
Vitamin C: This is essential to keep your gums healthy. It can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, and broccoli, among other fruits and vegetables.
Phosphorus: This plays an essential role in keeping your teeth strong. This can be found in eggs, fish, beans, and lean meats.
Equally important is making sure that you keep sugary snacks to a minimum. Hard and sticky candies are among the biggest culprits as far as snacks go. Ideally, snacking on raw vegetables, plain yogurts, and fruits are better for your mouth, and the rest of your body as well.