Ever wonder why some people possess beautiful smiles while others try but can never achieve the same result?
Believe it or not, the secrets to a great smile are often simple steps that just about anyone can take. Here are steps that can lead you to a brighter, better, healthier smile.
1: Take a little extra time.
It takes 2 to 3 minutes to adequately brush your teeth, but most people spend less than a minute brushing. Millions of bacteria live, work and play in our mouths. They feed on food left on our teeth after we eat, producing acid which destroys enamel, creating cavities. Proper brushing for 2 to 3 minutes can remove bacteria (so they can no longer make acid) from all tooth surfaces.
2: Do a little flossing.
It just might save your teeth. It all has to do with bacteria again. These crafty little critters like to hide between your teeth where the toothbrush can reach them. They continue to feed an food particles and create cavity causing acid. If allowed to remain between the teeth for a long time, these bacteria can invade and destroy gum tissue and the bone which supports the teeth. Daily flossing removes these bacteria from between your teeth so they can no longer cause problems.
3: Rinse after sticky foods.
Many foods (other than candy) that contain sugars and/or carbohydrates including fruits, peanut butter, potato chips, crackers and raisins that stick to the teeth provide a constant source of energy for bacteria. Try washing sticky foods down with liquids to ensure that less food remains on your teeth. Sugarless gum can also help because it stimulates your saliva which acts as a natural plaque fighting substance.
4: Don’t brush your teeth too hard.
As many as 2 out of 3 people damage their own teeth and gums by brushing too hard. Use a soft bristle brush with a CDA accepted fluoride toothpaste. It takes very little pressure to remove bacteria, food and plaque. Brushing too hard can lead to receding gums, sensitive teeth, root cavities and notched teeth. If you suspect you may be brushing too vigorously ask your dentist or hygienist to show, you how to brush safely to prevent tooth and gum damage.
5: Reduce your dependency on coffee and tea.
These beverages stain teeth destroying your naturally white smile. What’s more, coffee and tea can cause small fractures in your teeth called crazes which can occur when teeth are forced to expand and contract as a result of being exposed to hot liquids. These hot and cold cycles occur when you drink coffee or tea and over a prolonged period will result in crazes in the teeth.
Yours for better dental health,
Dr. Arvind Kataria D.D.S.