You’ve most likely heard the phrase “you’re never fully dressed without a smile.” This phrase rings true for most important things in life; work, social life, and first impressions in general. Having a great smile is more than just looking good in pictures, it’s about keeping your teeth and mouth healthy too. Here are some tips for how to have a beautiful smile:
The general rule for brushing is to brush twice a day, preferably once in the morning and once at night. Make sure your toothbrush bristles aren’t frayed; it’s good to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
You miss 35 percent of your teeth’s surface if you don’t floss. Flossing at least once a day will significantly reduce your risk of cavities, gum disease, and embarrassing food in your teeth moments. Flossing before bed is useful to avoid food sitting on teeth all night.
Another way to keep your teeth fresh and clean is to use mouthwash. While mouthwash is helpful for some, brushing and flossing are the most important when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy. Mouthwash is mainly used to combat bad breath, which is an important complement to your smile.
Foods to avoid
Surprisingly, there are some food and drinks you should avoid when trying to maintain a good smile. Coffee, tea, red wine, and caffeinated drinks in large amounts can stain your teeth over time and the acid levels can weaken your enamel. Sugary drinks and candy are the foods to avoid the most. These can increase cavities and tooth decay because of the acidic sugars and textures that can stick to teeth. While it’s not a food, smoking can also significantly stain your teeth, soak into the enamel causing further decay and significantly increase the risk of oral cancers. Some foods that help promote healthy teeth and strong enamel include leafy greens, yogurt, almonds, fish and plenty of water.
Visiting the dentist
Your dentist is your best resource for healthy teeth. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy dental check-up schedule. Generally, you should visit your dentist every six months unless you have a tooth emergency.
Some people benefit from having extra teeth whitening. Your dentist can recommend the best teeth whitening procedures including Zoom and tray whitening. Zoom whitening is done in a dental office where the hygienist will use a special light to whiten the teeth. For tray whitening, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth to make whitening trays to be worn at night. Teeth whitening can make your smile up to eight shades whiter and can minimize the damage from foods that discolor teeth. It’s important to talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening. At-home teeth whitening isn’t as effective and can even cause permanent tooth sensitivity as well as potential root damage.
Another part of how to have a good smile is healthy lips. Dry and cracked lips can feel uncomfortable and lower your confidence.
Staying hydrated by drinking water is one of the key steps in maintaining healthy lips. The rule that is most commonly heard is to drink eight, eight-ounce cups of water each day. According to Mayo Clinic, women should drink about nine cups and men should be drinking 13 cups. This also depends on how much you exercise and the weather. Your lips soak up water and stay soft when they have enough.
Regularly applying lip balm is another tip to improve lip health. Look for lip balms with natural ingredients like aloe, coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and vitamin E. Just like your skin, your lips can burn in the sun so make sure your lip balm includes SPF. Always make sure to apply lip balm after eating and in dry weather conditions. Applying balm in combination with using a lip scrub will help remove dry skin and keep your lips shiny and fresh.
Smile tips for photos
When it comes to photos, here are a few tips to get that truly great smile that won’t make you want to re-take the picture
- Close your eyes and mouth until just before the photo is taken
- Smile as wide as you can, literally ear-to-ear
- Try to think of something funny to achieve that genuine laughing smile. There’s a reason why people say, “say cheese” before a photo
- Check your teeth and gums before the picture
- Wiggle your nose until you feel your face start to smile
Eating healthy foods and exercising can improve your overall health and your body including your teeth and gums. The root of how to have a good smile starts with how you take care of yourself.