They say first impressions make all the difference, and that’s usually right. One of the first things you’ll tend to notice about people are their eyes, but more than that is the first smile you see someone crack out of their mouth. A good smile can positively impact your interaction with someone and theirs with you. Everyone loves to see a good smile so it’s important to protect it for years to come.
What happens is that many people neglect their dental health because they assume it will be fine with just brushing, but the reality is that it’s so much more than that. Even adding flossing to your routine only does so much, there are a lot of steps you need to take if you want to keep impressing people with your pearly whites and turning heads on those first impressions.
The ability to help restore your smile depends on how much care you give and the steps you take, but in most cases, it is entirely doable to reverse the trend of bad teeth, bad dental hygiene, and get back to a place of confidence with your smile. Here are several ways to help restore the look of your teeth.
1. Visit the Dentist Semi-Frequently
Semi-frequently doesn’t mean every couple of weeks, you only need to visit a dentist 2-3 times a year, but a lot of people think they’re okay with one checkup every once in a while. It would be unrealistic to go every month, even if it would help, but you should still consider how much you should be going to get your teeth checked out and cleaned. Even if your teeth are very far down the process of needing dental help, according to this dentist in Concord, CA, dental implants are something to consider as well. It might not be for everyone, but it’s a solution that can certainly help if you feel like a simple dental cleaning won’t do. It’s good to remember to go visit the dentist so they can provide you with information on where your teeth are at as well.
2. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
The temptation is always there to eat sweets and indulge in some soda every now and then, but the reality is that it can harm your teeth plenty over time. If you only drink a can of soda once in a while, you’ll be fine, but you’d also be surprised at home much sugar is in a lot of the food you eat. This can have a tremendously negative effect on the quality of your teeth. Processed food is bad for your teeth and gums because of the additives and high quantities of sugar, but chocolates and candies are certainly the worst culprits when it comes to the quality and health of your oral care. Substitute with healthier snacks like vegetables, which help strengthen the gums, as well as fruits, which are fibrous and help the teeth as well. Carrots, onions, apples, celery, and oranges are excellent foods for mouth health to replace sweets.
3. Avoid Smoking
Tobacco products are also linked to mouth diseases like oral, tongue, and throat cancer, as well as helping deteriorate the quality of your gums. Smoking can be hard to quit, so don’t feel bad if it feels very hard to kick the habit. It’s an addiction after all, but if you truly want to repair your smile, then you need to consider and commit to it. It stains the teeth and makes your gums much more soft and susceptible to infection, damage, and bleeding, not to mention the severity of diseases mentioned prior. If you need to slowly ween off of smoking, vaping isn’t an awful idea (still not healthy, mind you), but nicotine gum or patches work better. It’s best to speak to your doctor about quitting to find helpful tips.
4. Make Better Choices with Alcohol
Funnily enough, most people think that cutting out sugary drinks like soda or juice is all they have to do but continue to consume a lot of alcohol. The reality is that an overwhelming majority of alcohols, including beers, spirits, wine, etc. are incredibly high in sugar content. The problem is that it limits options when going out, but not anymore thankfully. There are a lot of low-carb (ex. Low sugar) options for when you want to attend a social event with friends. Similarly, if you want to drink mixed drinks, go with seltzer water mixes instead of mixing with sodas. This is a simple way to reduce the amount of sugar content that can be harming your teeth, but still, allow you to maintain your social life. Ultimately, the best step is to cut it entirely, but if you can’t, you still have those options.
5. Eat a More Nutritious Diet
Going back to the point about replacing bad sugars with healthy sugars, you need to help strengthen your smile with the right foods. The best way to do so is by eating fruits as a replacement for sugar snacks. Good foods to help strengthen your gums and teeth include fruits high in vitamins A, C, D, and K, and foods high in calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. All it takes is to be a more savvy grocery shopper and eater to find which foods are going to provide you with better nutrition. It’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet as a whole, but you’d be surprised to see how crucial it is when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums. Make some changes, ditch the bad sugars, eat more natural foods, and you can help support your mouth health.
6. Consider How Health Supplements Can Help
If you’re not able to or finding it hard to eat a better diet, then it’s also helpful to try your best to eat as well as you can, given the challenges or circumstances you face, and supplement nutrition with health aids. Supplements are not meant to entirely replace the food you eat, but they do provide a significant amount of benefit for getting the nutrients you desperately need that you aren’t getting from food. Vitamins/multivitamins are very simple ones you can squeeze into your daily routine. Most people already consume vitamins and you can tailor it to help support your dental health if that’s your biggest concern. Similarly, you can get powders and other supplements that include high amounts of amino acids or other nutritional substances that can help fortify your teeth and gums. You don’t have to eat a perfect diet, but helping balance it out with supplements can make it much easier for you.
7. Brush and Floss Consistently
A lesson as old as time, one your parents, teachers, and dentists have always told you – bush and floss consistently! There’s no excuse at any point in your life past childhood that you shouldn’t be brushing or flossing consistently. There’s a big difference between doing it consistently and doing it well too. Some people think they can get away with a half-baked performance of brushing for 20 seconds and being done with it, but you really need to get into it to actually make a difference. Brushing and flossing are some of the first lines of defense against plaque, tartar, and gingivitis, so that means spending extra time brushing and flossing. Typically, you want to take about 30-45 seconds of brushing per set of teeth, as well as brushing behind, and on top. You should brush at minimum two times a day, sometimes at lunch after a meal, and floss at those times as well.
8. Clean Your Gums
As part of the brushing and flossing process, you also need to pay close attention to your gums. Many people think it’s all about the teeth when it comes to keeping the smile nice and healthy, but your gums play a huge part in dental hygiene. Cleaning your gums is simple, when you’re brushing your teeth, you want to gently push the bristles of the brush upwards a handful or more times on both sides. This is a good way to help get extra debris, like food, out of your mouth so it isn’t building up and causing any more problems. You should also think about doing salt water rinses to help clean out the crevices of the gums that are hard to get with floss or toothbrush bristles as well.
9. Wear a Retainer or Mouth Guard at Night
If it’s not the cleanliness of your teeth that’s the problem and it’s the shape, then you need to think about getting a retainer or mouth guard for nighttime sleep. Plenty of people grind their teeth while they sleep without even knowing it, and you could be one of those people too. This grinding is damaging to the enamel of the outer layer of your teeth and can cause serious problems by shifting teeth without you realizing it. Over time, you’ll notice your teeth are damaged or moved, which is hard to stop because you do it involuntarily at night. Obviously, a mouth guard/retainer is used to prevent this and keep your teeth locked in place. If you’ve ever had braces, then your dentist/orthodontist likely gave you one to wear after getting them off, so if you still have it and it fits, you should wear it. If not, you can always visit your dentist to get a new one.
10. Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping the mouth hydrated is another part of a healthy smile and healthy mouth. The gums need hydration, the tongue needs hydration, the whole body needs hydration, so it’s a simple tip to keep in mind that you will need regardless. When gums aren’t hydrated enough, they become dry and this can cause bacteria to damage them further, not to mention it can cause bad breath too. Drinking water helps keep the moisture of the mouth at a proper level which helps the gums retain their healthy look. It’s an often overlooked part of mouth health, but you need water to keep your smile nice and clean.
11. Consider Getting Braces
If you really need to go the full 9 yards, then it might be time to consider braces. People usually get them when they’re adolescents or young teenagers, but adult braces aren’t uncommon nor are they anything to worry about. Adult braces are important for helping you get your smile and confidence back, not to mention there are a lot of subtler-designed braces out there that are very hard to spot. This is a serious step and it’s a commitment, but if you truly need the help to get your teeth and smile back to the way they were, it’s recommended.
12. Get a Dental Operation
Going back to the mention of dental implants at the beginning of this article, you should also consider this route if you need a quick fix. Sometimes it might not be that your entire smile needs some help like what braces provide, it could be a single tooth that is causing you distress. There are a lot of people who go this route, and since dental implant technology is getting so much better, it’s even harder to tell now than ever before. Dental implants have a few options you can choose from. There are dentures, which is a removable appliance that replicates a row of teeth, individual dental implants for a singular tooth, an implant bridge, and tooth-supported bridges. These options vary in cost, amount of procedure needed, and effectiveness, but they are effective if you want your smile back quickly.
Among the things, people notice first when they meet you, and vice versa is your eyes and your smile. The smile, in this case, is a designated sign of confidence in people. It’s important to show off your teeth and feel proud when someone compliments you on them, so it’s necessary to do what it takes to restore your smile and keep your pearly whites, pearly white. Use the options and advice provided here to make sure you never go a day without loving your smile.