A healthy smile is more than just a sign of good dental care; it showcases inner confidence which, as anyone who has suffered from low self-esteem will know, is a great asset to have. Teeth which are stained, discoloured, crooked or missing not only look unsightly but tend to be deliberately concealed for fear of ridicule. The perfect smile is often perceived to be the product of cosmetic dentistry but the truth is that, by following some simple steps, you can enjoy a gleaming smile.
Visit the dentist regularly
There is no hard and fast rule about how frequently you should have a dental check-up; your dentist will be able to advise you, as patients with a higher level of decay may need to be monitored more closely. But sticking to your dentist’s recommended routine is essential if he is to identify the earliest signs of decay – often occurring long before pain troubles you. Your dentist will take preventative action as soon as trouble appears to avoid having to fill cavities; also, he will thoroughly clean and polish your teeth to remove plaque from those places that are hardest to reach with the average toothbrush.
Replace your toothbrush regularly
Many people wait until the bristles on their toothbrush have become worn before replacing it but the chances are this is too late. Gentle brushing with the correct technique shouldn’t cause damage to the bristles particularly quickly; the more significant problem is the accumulation of bacteria which will simply re-enter your mouth when you next brush, potentially causing gum disease and tooth decay. Running your toothbrush through the dishwasher once a week will help to maintain its cleanliness, but aim to replace it every 2 to 3 months anyway.
Learn a good brushing technique
Tooth brushing should be a gentle, time-consuming activity, not a violent scrub before dashing to work. Hold the toothbrush at an angle against your teeth and brush with short motions back-and-forth, not forgetting the inside surfaces of each tooth. Try to brush systematically along the line of teeth, cleaning each one individually. Your gums and tongue should also be brushed gently to remove any remaining bacteria.
Few toothbrushes will clean between the teeth where bacteria accumulate, so it is little surprise that decay often begins in these difficult-to-reach places. Dental floss is the most effective way to clean between each tooth and along your gum line, removing lingering remnants of food and plaque, thereby helping to protect your teeth and gums from decay and infection.
It may be blindingly obvious, but eating healthily is one of the most effective ways to protect your smile. Sugary food and drinks can cause rapid decay, especially in the front teeth which are used for biting. Foods high in calcium and vitamin D, such as cheese and milk, will help to strengthen the enamel, making your teeth more resilient to the bacteria which cause decay.
By following these simple steps and maintaining a practised dental care routine, you can be sure to have a healthy, beautiful smile which radiates confidence.