Your Smile for Back-to-School
The start of a new school year is a time to make an impression. You’re another year older and wiser and you’ve changed a lot. One thing that we hope improves each year is your smile. A person’s smile is one of the first things others notice about them. Is your smile white? Straight? Healthy? Or is it the opposite of all of these? Find out how to revamp your smile and your oral health so you can have a dazzling smile by the time school or work starts again!
Better Oral Health Improves Your Smile
Do you want a better smile when you walk into your classes on the first day of school? Then don’t forget to brush your teeth before you leave the house! The American Dental Association recommends that every person (including infants) should brush their teeth at least twice a day. A great time is before bed and in the morning after breakfast. Not only will this make your smile clean and pretty as you try to make a good first impression, but you will have fresh breath as well.
Studies show that your smile is one of the first things others notice about you. You want to make an impression by showing those pearly whites everywhere you go. Not only will others see you as happier, but they will feel like you’re more approachable. This is definitely a bonus on your first day of school.
You want to be confident about your smile, which is why we mentioned brushing. It’s not complete if you don’t also floss your teeth. Floss gets almost half (40%) of your tooth surfaces. If you skip those, over time, half of your teeth will have dental problems. Combine those habits with dental visits and you can avoid problems with cavities, bad breath, and gum disease that will will take you out of school during the year to fix them.
What You Eat Matters
Going back to school can present new challenges with food. Students either eat in a cafeteria, bring their own lunch, or they leave to get fast food nearby. You want to be smart with your food choices if you want to keep your smile great throughout the school year. How you eat will say a lot about your smile. Why? Because what you eat directly determines if you will have tooth decay or oral health problems.
Cafeterias and fast food places often have processed foods that are packed with sugar. Sugar is also found in starchy foods (like bread and pasta). Even parents make up lunches that are sugar-packed and unhealthy, even if those lunches look healthy! Parents magazine recently published an article about lunch for school. They gave an example of a packed “peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat bread, a cup of applesauce and fruit punch”. It sounds like a healthy meal, but going through the food labels revealed that there was actually 76 grams of sugar in that one meal alone—more than four twinkies!
That’s why it’s so important to check food labels and limit the amount of added sugars in your lunch and snacks for school. Sugar is a major concern because it leads directly to tooth decay. When you eat, that sugar in your foods and drinks mixes with your mouth bacteria to form plaque. That is the transparent goop that sticks to your teeth. Over time, it erodes away the tooth enamel and decays your teeth. The more sugar you eat, the more likely you are to get tooth decay. To keep your smile healthy, have a parent or professional help you with healthy meal options that reduce your sugar and give you tons of energy.
Take Care of Your Braces
You are at school for hours of your day. If you’re in college, then you’re studying most of the day. It’s easy for oral hygiene habits to fall through the cracks when you’re busy. A good way to take some time for your smile is to bring a dental kit with you to school. After your lunch, you can take this kit to the bathroom and brush and floss your teeth. This is especially important for children and teens that wear braces, as food gets stuck in brackets and wires every time you eat.
Protecting Your Mouth
School is a time when many kids young and old are participating in sports. Coincidentally, sports injuries are among the highest when it comes to dental emergencies. You never want to get a tooth knocked-out or broken when all you want to do is having fun playing sports. Protect your mouth with a custom-made mouth guard. Buying a guard from the store is better than nothing, but store guards are not fit to your mouth and can definitely still land you with dental emergencies because of the space that is there between the guard and your teeth. We make custom mouth guards all the time for our patients, which helps them keep their smile intact during sports and physical activity.
Cosmetic Dentistry for Teens and Adults
If you do end up with a dental emergency during the school year, we can fix cavities with dental fillings. However, when tooth decay is severe and results in a toothache, you may need a root canal treatment or even a dental implant. If you simply want to improve your look and are old enough, you can get a straight smile through cosmetic dentistry services such as porcelain veneers. Taking care of your smile through your eating choices and oral hygiene are the best ways to keep them bright and healthy. When other problems arise, we can help make your teeth into pearly whites. Call Dr. Ania’s office for your dental questions and dental consultation by calling (303) 872-9940!