Pro Tips for a Healthier Smile ...

When you have pearly white teeth and fresh breath you can’t help but smile, and these tips for a healthier smile will have you grinning in no time. It seems like some people are blessed with great teeth, while others are prone to having dental problems. However, many dental problems can easily be prevented with proper care. Gum disease, for example, is caused by plaque, which is a sticky film on your teeth that harbors bacteria. Yet, good dental habits can easily prevent plaque from building up and causing dental problems. You just need to follow these tips for a healthier smile to keep your gums and teeth looking fabulous.

1. Brush Teeth Properly

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One of the easiest tips for a healthier smile that I can offer is to brush your teeth twice a day, every day. It sounds so simple, but it can make a huge difference. Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque by cleaning the surface of your teeth. The trick is to brush correctly. You should hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gum line and brush using short back and forth strokes. Also, you should brush each tooth 15 to 20 times gently with a soft bristle toothbrush. Being gentle with your teeth is key because hard strokes can tear gums. If you follow all of these steps, you will be well on your way to a healthy smile.

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Flossing every day is a great way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should always use waxed floss, and just like brushing, you should floss gently. When you floss be sure to take time and go between each tooth using a rubbing motion as you go to the gum line where you will go around each tooth. It may seem like this will take forever, but it is worth it. Your teeth will look great, and as an added bonus you could be extending your life. Did you know flossing has been proven to add years to your life? What a nice extra benefit!

3. Tongue Scraper

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Not everyone thinks of cleaning their tongue. However, it is important to give your tongue a little attention because it harbors a lot of bacteria. While you can brush your tongue to clean it, a tongue scraper is much more effective. You can get them fairly inexpensively at the drug store, or you can use a spoon like I do. Spoons make great tongue scrappers, and I love that I can throw it in the dishwasher when I am finished cleaning my tongue.

4. Choose Toothpaste Wisely

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It can be so easy to just pick up the least expensive toothpaste at the store and call it a day. Yet, it is important to choose your toothpaste wisely. For instance, many types of toothpaste have glycerin in them, which actually does more harm than good.

Glycerin gives toothpaste a pasty feel, but it coats the teeth and prevents them from remineralizing. Like your bones, your teeth are composed of minerals, which are delivered to your teeth, in part, through your saliva. If the minerals can’t get in your teeth, you won’t have strong teeth. So, read the label and make sure the toothpaste is glycerin free. If you are feeling ambitious you can also make your own toothpaste using coconut oil, baking soda, xylitol, and peppermint oil.

5. Mouthwash

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After you have brushed your teeth, flossed, and scrapped your tongue, you should complete the process by rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash. One of the best and least expensive mouthwashes is diluted hydrogen peroxide. It is great at killing bacteria. Another choice for mouthwash is a fluoride rinse. Fluoride is proven to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. It is also great if you have nerve pain from exposed dentin. It fills in the tiny holes that lead to the nerves, which stops the pain from occurring. A highly recommended fluoride rinse is ACT brand. Even my dentist recommends it, and I trust him a lot.

6. Treat Teeth with Care

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Sometimes it can be really easy to use your teeth like a tool. I know I have used my teeth to open packages and remove tags from clothing on more than one occasion. However, your teeth are meant for chewing food. They are not meant to be used as tools. Using your teeth to open packages, or even chewing on hard candies can create tiny fractures in the enamel. Over time, this can lead to large cracks and large problems. Clenching and grinding your teeth can also cause problems. Often, people clench or grind their teeth when they are stressed, which means you may need to find an outlet for your stress like yoga or meditation.

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Sugary and acidic foods can do a lot of harm to your teeth. Sugar feeds bacteria in the mouth, which can cause plaque and associated gum disease to worsen. Acidic foods, like citrus, can cause enamel erosion. To keep your teeth healthy you should limit the sugary and acidic foods in your diet. Instead of having a candy bar when you feel tired in the afternoon, reach for some celery with peanut butter. Not only will your teeth thank you, the protein in the peanut butter will give your energy a sustained boost.

Having a healthy smile is important, and, thankfully, it is easy to achieve. Having good dental care habits will ensure your teeth stay healthy and beautiful. Taking just a few extra minutes a day to follow these tips for healthy teeth and gums will keep your smile bright. What tips do you have for a fantastic smile?

urmc.rochester.edu, besthealthmag.ca

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