There is only one surefire way to show how happy you are; by smiling. And you want a clean, gleaming, straight-toothed smile that draws people in instead of disgusting them.
Get into a routine
1. Brush. Everyone needs to brush. Gently, so as not to erode the top layer of enamel and make sure you cover the gums, back teeth and gums as well. Brush twice a day for about two minutes each time.
2. Floss. Not so many seem to floss these days, but it is important as it rids your teeth of all of the food and plaque that a toothbrush can’t get to. Take one tooth at a time and floss once a day before brushing.
3. Gargle. Mouthwashes that contain anti-septic and anti-plaque ingredients are great to incorporate into your daily dental routine. The product will rid your mouth, teeth and gums of bacteria.
4. Go electric. Switch your manual toothbrush for an electric one and you will notice the difference. It ensures that you aren’t brushing too fast or too hard and many come with a two-minute timer to ensure you don’t over do it.
5. Clean it. After brushing, clean your toothbrush with water and leave it standing in a place where it can air. If you put it in an enclosed container, chances are that bacteria will build up, which will then be transferred to your teeth the next time you brush.
6. Replace it. Replacing your toothbrush regularly is a top “must” in order to maintain your dental health. You should trade your old model in at least every three to four months, to ensure the bristles aren’t frayed and still do their job.
7. Visit the dentist. Many people have a phobia of the dentist, but nine times out of 10 that would be lessened if the patient visited more frequently. You should visit at least once every six months to have a professional clean and check up.
8. Use fluoride. As one of the biggest advancements in oral health, fluoride has been shown to strengthen the enamel, making it less likely to decay. Look for toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain fluoride, but don’t overdo it.
Consider your diet
9. Avoid foods that stain. Coffee, tea, berries, red wine and other foods stain the teeth considerably, turning your pearly whites a more murky yellow shade.
10. Don’t smoke. The high amounts of nicotine found in cigarettes stain the tooth’s enamel badly and noticeably. Studies have shown that after just one week teeth have changed colour, which is a strong reason why you should stop!
11. Avoid sweetened drinks. Coca Cola, Lucozade, concentrated orange juice and many other liquids are rammed with sweeteners to lessen the fat and improve the taste. But these sweeteners erode the teeth and leave them weak.
12. Eat good foods. Chewy foods such as celery are great for the teeth; the chewing action promotes more saliva, which neutralises the bacteria that causes cavities. Broccoli, apples and cheese are also all great cleaning aids.
13. Drink milk. Milk is very low in acidity, which means the wearing of the teeth lessens, and is the reason why babies should drink lots of it. It is also high in calcium which helps strengthen the teeth and gums.
14. Rinse and chew. If you rinse your mouth with water or chew gum after a meal, you will find yourself to still eat some of those staining culprits mentioned previously. The leftover particles will be washed away with the water and saliva.
Go the extra mile
15. Bleach. As long as you go about it the right way, there is no reason why you shouldn’t bleach your teeth. You can purchase whitening kits from most pharmacies or your dentist will be able to perform the procedure.
16. Try bonding. Many of us are born with wonky teeth that destroy our confidence. Simply by adding a bonded composite material, a dentist can change your smile painlessly by levelling out each tooth.
17. Get a crown. This measure is only normally a necessity when teeth are highly unsightly. A porcelain crown will cover a tooth and strengthen it, simultaneously improving a tooth’s ability to withstand chewing.
18. Consider implants. If you are unfortunate enough to be missing any teeth, you can opt to have an implant. This can be extremely expensive, but will last a lengthy time and will look far more real than dental fixtures.
19. Brace yourself. If you decide you need braces, it doesn’t make you a school-child geek. Many adults opt to wear braces for a year to thoroughly straighten out their teeth or to lessen an overbite.
20. Choose laminates. As you grow older, your teeth will naturally become thinner and discoloured. Porcelain laminates resurface the front of your teeth, leaving whitened, straightened and younger-looking teeth in just over a week.