“That smile looks good on you!” The well-known expression has more truth to it than most people may realize. A 2021 post from Verywell Mind lists nearly a dozen reasons to smile every day. These benefits include longer life, relieving stress and creating a more upbeat mood. In addition, it makes people feel good when we flash a nice, beautiful smile. When you smile around people, they will often smile back, or make some pleasant eye contact. Smiling, at its essence, conveys happiness. And we all need that.
A healthy smile is also the key to good health overall. It’s true. Medical studies have shown that gum disease can cause stroke and heart disease. So, keeping your teeth and gums is an important step toward wellness. Here are some tips that will keep your pearly whites shiny and your smile happy:
Brushing — Since childhood, we’ve been taught to incorporate brushing into our daily routine. It’s as natural as washing our face and combing our hair. Still, proper brushing will give maximum results. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. The brush should be replaced every four months or when the bristles become frayed. After all, a frayed brush won’t clean teeth effectively, the association said. You should wait 30 minutes to an hour after eating to brush your teeth so as not to disturb tooth enamel.
Flossing — Removing excess food particles from between teeth helps prevent buildup and plaque, which can lead to gum disease. Flossing at least once a day can help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Use strong dental floss to get deep between teeth and along the gum line. There is also a new product called Proxabrush, that can be used in removing food particles from between teeth.
Diet — Sure, sugar is a fun food, and, yes, a little treat now and then is a good thing. But everything should be taken in moderation. Avoid having sugary foods on a regular basis. Not only are they bad for teeth, but they can also lead to such things as weight gain and diabetes.
Dental care — Regular dental visits are also important in maintaining a healthy smile. The hygienist will “deep clean” your teeth and gums and remove plaque that daily brushing and flossing miss. The dentist will examine you for cavities, signs of oral cancer and will take an x-ray of your teeth to check for underlying issues.