Tips to Improve Your Smile for National Smile Month
National Smile Month is the longest-running campaign aimed at promoting good oral health. This year, National Smile Month runs from May 13 through June 13. While you should take good care of your teeth all year round, make an even greater effort this month! Here’s how to improve your smile with good oral hygiene.
Cut Back on Sugary Foods & Drinks
Sugar is one of the leading causes of cavities and gum disease. It’s a key ingredient in plaque, a sticky, acidic substance that forms in your mouth every time you eat. Therefore, more sugar in your diet means more plaque on your teeth, and more plaque means more cavities. Your best chance to improve your smile is to eat less sugar and brush and floss more often.
Brush & Floss Daily
These fundamental habits of a healthy smile can’t be overlooked. Never skip brushing your teeth at night because this creates the perfect opportunity for plaque to harden into tartar while you sleep. You should also brush at least one other time each day, such as right after you wake up to eradicate morning breath.
Flossing is just as vital as brushing, though it’s easy to neglect this important step. Flossing can improve your smile by removing plaque from between the teeth and under the gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing once a day helps prevent gingivitis, which can progress into periodontal disease and threaten tooth loss if left unchecked.
Consider an Electric Toothbrush & Water Flosser
Technology can help improve your smile if you utilize the right products. Electric toothbrushes are clinically proven to reduce plaque and gingivitis significantly better than manual toothbrushes.
Water flossers are also ideal for people who can’t stand flossing or have braces that make it inconvenient to floss every day. In fact, water flossers might be a better choice for everyone because they are scientifically shown to remove significantly more plaque from tooth surfaces than traditional string floss.
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again—smoking is bad for your oral health. First, it leaves stains on your teeth. Some of these are superficial and can be removed with professional dental cleaning, but others soak deep into the enamel to permanently yellow your smile.
Second, smoking causes gums to recede and form deep pockets around the teeth. This unhealthy habit also reduces the effectiveness of gum disease treatment, making it more difficult to reverse.
Limit Your Coffee, Tea & Wine Intake
These are among the top foods and drinks known to stain your teeth. As with smoking, some of these stains occur on the surface and can be polished off, but others cause internal tooth discoloration that is more difficult to remove.
Reduce how much you indulge in these beverages, and when you do have them, sip through a straw to limit contact with your teeth. Also, rinse with water afterward and brush your teeth if possible to remove acids, pigments, and other staining compounds from your mouth.
Drink More Water
If you’re drinking less coffee, tea, and wine, you need to replace them with something. Why not water? This is the healthiest drink for your body, and it helps flush substances from your mouth that can cause staining and tooth decay.
You can even get it for free right from the tap. Here in Boulder, CO, our water contains a small amount of added fluoride to help reduce tooth decay by an average of 25 percent in both adults and children. A healthy, regulated amount of fluoride in your drinking water is an effective way to improve your smile.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Most people should visit the dentist once every six months. If you have an underlying condition, such as periodontal disease, you may need more frequent visits than this. Making dentist appointments a priority can improve your smile in multiple ways.
First, cleanings remove surface stains to leave you with sparkling white teeth. You’ll smile with renewed confidence for weeks after every dental cleaning.
Then, the oral exam that comes with your cleaning helps catch problems as they develop so you can address them before they get worse. For instance, an inspection of your gums could reveal that they are starting to recede. Gingivitis treatment can prevent periodontal disease and improve your smile.
X-rays are also effective at showing hidden cavities, abscesses, and other problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye. This diagnostic tool allows you to seek treatment before pain develops or other health problems occur.
Treat Dental Concerns Promptly
If you notice heavy bleeding when you floss, or you start to develop a toothache, don’t let these concerns linger. You only risk worsening the problem, heightening your pain, and increasing the treatment cost. The best way to improve your smile is to call your dentist the moment you discover an oral health concern. Ask for advice and set up an appointment if necessary to have the problem looked at.
Improve Your Smile with Help from Our Boulder Dentist
Dr. Ania is passionate about promoting a healthy lifestyle by delivering routine teeth cleanings and other dental services to our patients. We’re here to educate you on ways to improve your smile at home and provide the professional, in-office services that are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
To ask questions about your oral health, or to schedule an appointment, please call Dr. Ania’s dentist office in Boulder, CO at (303) 872-9940.