Our smile is said to be the most profound and powerful way to express ourselves physically. Our smile is how we show joy and happiness. Seeing someone smile is just a wonderful sight. Smiles can light up a room and truly show you someone’s sense of joy just from this little motion.
Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins and serotonin. Not only can these natural chemicals elevate your mood, but they can also relax your body and help reduce physical discomfort. Smiling can also make us look younger, help lower blood pressure and help us stay positive.
Smiles are beautiful. But many of us struggle with the confidence we may need to smile more.
This can boil down to oral hygiene. If we aren’t taking care of our teeth- we may feel the need to hide our smile from others.
Behind our smiles- is an important element- oral care and hygiene. Having a beautiful and healthy smile does take some upkeep. Brushing our teeth, flossing, mouthwash etc. Especially to prevent plaque– which is that gross sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Bacteria in plaque produce acids after you eat or drink. These acids can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities and gum concerns. Plaque can also develop under our gums on the root of our tooth and break down the bones that support teeth.
From an early age we are told to brush our teeth at night and in the morning. Maybe you heard ’brush your teeth or they will fall out’ or some other way your parents tried to ensure you brushed your teeth. While they won’t necessarily just fall out, neglected teeth can develop into tooth decay.
While brushing your teeth plays an important role in oral care- there are more steps we can take to ensure we are doing all that we can for proper oral care.
So we know we need to brush our teeth- but what else can we do?
The ADA- American Dental Association recommends the following steps we can take to ensure the best health for our mouth!
The one we all know is to brush your teeth- but they also say it is important to do so twice daily-for approximately 2 minutes (morning and evening- or in between meals if needed) with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride works to help rebuild weakened and brittle teeth and can help reverse early signs of tooth decay. When we brush our teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride itself is applied to the surface of our teeth- working to protect them and even remineralize them. If you don’t feel comfortable using fluoride- that’s ok! It’s just a suggestion by the ADA and you can of course choose to skip the fluoride-but just ensure you are brushing thoroughly for 2 minutes each time! Remember- these are just guidelines from the ADA- feel free to substitute a more natural option!
Floss! We have all had that pesky piece of carrot or popcorn stuck in our teeth. Flossing can help get that pesky little morsel out. The ADA states that flossing our teeth is an essential part of taking care of both our teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing can help to remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.
Stay away from overly sugary foods or beverages. We know that too much sugar isn’t good for our health- but it can also take its toll on our teeth. When you eat sugary foods or consume sugary drinks for long periods of time, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that actually attack your enamel. Most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and therefore, bad for your teeth. This can include putting too much sugar in your coffee.
Watch your citrus intake. We love fruit- especially citrusy ones, but the downfall is that frequent exposure to acidic foods can cause our enamel to erode- making our teeth more susceptible to decay over time. While we love a little squeeze of lemon or lime into a simple glass of water-it may not be the best choice for your mouth. Citric fruits and juices can also irritate mouth sores.
Last but not least- visit your dentist! Dentist visits aren’t always fun- but they are necessary. Regular checkups will ensure you’re on the right track with your oral care and allow the dentist to advise you of things that need to change, or if there are any procedures that may need to be done.
Take pride in your smile- brush those teeth and take care of your mouth!