How to have the Best Smile

The smile is always the first thing  that catches  your attention the first time  you meet someone (well, except if you’re Ian Somerhalder – for me you don’t really need to flash that toothy grin). It can build you up or it can break you. But aside from your pearly whites that you need to take care of, you also need to take care of   your overall oral health.

You might take it in a stride  but if you’ve experienced the following, you might not  be taking care of yourself:

Sensitive teeth (credits from

Bad breath. “Infrequent brushing  and flossing  allow the buildup of oral bacteria  that produce stinky sulfur by-products” says Kimberly Harms, a dental surgeon from American Dental Association.  And of course, anything  stink coming in will also have stink coming out, such  as  the case  when you eat  onion, garlic and anything pungent.

How to fix it: Floss daily. Tongue scrape (you can buy a tongue scraper from drug stores) at least twice a day.  Brush you teeth regularly.  Use fluoride toothpaste that does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a harsh foaming agent that dries  in the mouth. Saliva has antibacterial agents and rids of  problem-causing causing, so avoid anything that dries the mouth like caffeine or alcohol. When using mouthwash, choose  the alcohol free ones.  Bacteria feeds on sugar  so if you want a quick fix, chew  sugarless gums and mints.

Sensitive Teeth. When the dentin of our teeth becomes exposed caused by damage  of  the enamel or cementum, the nerves get stimulated  and irritated, thus causing tooth sensitivity . The discomfort is  mostly noticeable  when we drink hot or cold beverages or when we eat acidic and sweet food.

How to fix it: Common cause of damage to the teeth is poor oral hygiene, and if you  have tooth decay and damage , like cracked and broken teeth, see a dentist immediately. Repeated exposure to alcohol or acid, like in the case of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (which induces vomiting) causes tooth erosion which also causes sensitive teeth, and can be managed by seeing a specialist. Other causes, though, can be easily addressed and you can resolve on your own. Gingivitis and too aggressive brushing can cause receding  gum lines and can expose the dentin. Brush gently but regularly. Use soft-bristled brushes  and don’t press to hard.

Canker Sores.  The cause of those little white bumps that occur inside your mouth is still unknown, but it  known to be triggered  by certain foods ( citrus and acidic fruits) or even  by brushing too vigorously. Sometimes a sharp tooth surface or dental appliance, such as braces or ill-fitting dentures, might also trigger canker sores.

How to Fix it: Antibacterial mouthwashes can help disinfect your mouth and may speed the healing process. Avoid mouthwash with alcohol as they may sting. Avoid citrus fruits and other acidic foods that can worsen the pain. If the  cancer sores lingers for more than 2 weeks, see your dentist to rule  out oral cancer.

Tooth Grinding Typically brought on by stress and anxiety, tooth grinding happens  usually happens, at night when  you’re asleep and unaware.  It could be an indication of jaw tenderness and abnormalities in your teeth. Chronic teeth grinding can result to fracturing, loosening and possible loss of teeth.

How to Fix it: Practice relaxation exercises such as meditation or simple Yoga stretches to destress. If tooth grinding continues, ask your dentist about getting a custom-made night guard that fits comfortably over your teeth.  The night guard will be pushed into  a soft, forgiving  plastic surface instead of grinding tooth to tooth.

These seemingly minor problems may also signal serious health issues though. Studies suggest that the bacteria  that contributes to bad breath and gum diseases also raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Do these quick fixes to guarantee a confident smile but  if these issues still persist, it will be best to consult a GP  to rule out complications.


Enhanced by Zemanta