Quick Tips to Find Your Best Smile

You’ve probably heard the saying “you only get one chance at a first impression”. When you meet someone new, one of the first things...
a close-up of a toothbrush

You’ve probably heard the saying “you only get one chance at a first impression”. When you meet someone new, one of the first things they’ll notice is your smile. We all know the importance of brushing and flossing daily, but there are countless other ways to keep your teeth looking their best. From the foods you eat to your daily habits, here are just a few quick tips to find your best smile.

 Toothpaste Matters

Going to the store can be a hassle. It’s easy to just grab the first tube of toothpaste you find; however if you want your smile looking its best, it’s important to take the time to make this decision. The most important ingredient to look for is fluoride, specifically stannous fluoride. The role of fluoride is to harden the enamel of your teeth and make them resistant to the mouth’s acidic bacteria.

The American Dental Association sets standards when it comes to adding a seal of approval on a brand of toothpaste. In order to obtain a seal, a toothpaste must be free from flavoring agents that can cause tooth decay. The ingredients in an ADA-approved toothpaste must also contain fluoride and active oral hygiene-improving ingredients. All approved brands must be backed by scientific studies showing their effectiveness and use-safety. Not all toothpaste brands are held to these standards, so be sure to look for the seal or view their list in advance.

 Brush-a, Brush-a, Brush-a

Choosing the right toothbrush to accompany your toothpaste is key. One of the leading causes of sensitive teeth is aggressive brushing with coarse bristles. Be sure to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a shape that reaches every tooth from front to molars. If you’re a lackluster brusher, consider trading in your manual brush for a powered toothbrush.

Your toothbrush should be replaced roughly every three months, or when the bristles show signs of wear. A frayed toothbrush head can damage your gums and cause discomfort. If you’re using a powered toothbrush, buy replacement heads in advance so you don’t have to run out to the store and delay replacement.

 What You Eat Matters

Everything you consume affects the health of your teeth. Sour candies, citrus fruits, and highly acidic juices erode the enamel of your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay. Carbonated beverages increase the acidity of plaque on your teeth as well as decrease saliva production. Bread and other chewy foods cause the starch to breakdown into sugar that sticks in the crevices between your teeth. The resulting sticky paste can lead to cavities and require dental procedures.   

 There are plenty of food options to optimize your dental health. Cheese and yogurt are both high in protein and calcium that can strengthen enamel. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and calcium. Vegetables like carrots and celery are high in vitamins A and C and require extra chewing that increases saliva production. Together, these powerful elements improve overall oral health.

 Call Your Dentist

Regular teeth cleanings are key to keeping both your teeth and gums in good standing. When you visit a dentist, such as the professionals at Glad Dental, you’ll be checked for a variety of dental issues. A regular visit will consist of a cavity search, possible x-rays, tartar and plaque checks, and a cleaning. 

After your dentist has determined the health of your teeth, they’ll check your gums, throat, neck, tongue, and face. These tests rule out any issues of inflammation, infection, or signs of cancer.

The benefits of these regular cleanings include cancer and gum disease prevention as well as stain removal to ensure a brighter, whiter smile.

Tom Parsons is a contributing writer for Urban Tulsa. He graduated from NYU with a journalism degree, and he currently resides in Tulsa.