When it comes to getting a sparkling white smile, the first step is keeping it healthy. Good oral hygiene is the key to maintaining a sexy smile but it’s also the first step in preventing defects like discoloration, cavities and gingivitis, which can lead to some serious smile issues. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) dentists offer these five tips to keep your smile in top shape.
1. Use an Electric Toothbrush
At more than 30,000 strokes per minute compared to the average of 100 strokes per minute with a manual toothbrush, electric toothbrushes work harder by pushing fluid between teeth and around the gum line, which provides a more effective cleaning. “Regardless of whether or not you have cavities, using an electric toothbrush over time prevents gum inflammation, gingivitis and periodontal disease,” says Eagan, MN, cosmetic dentist Kellee Kattleman Stanton, DDS.
2. Floss at Night
The CDC reports that nearly 65 million Americans—one out every two adults ages 30 and older—have gum disease. Therefore, flossing once a day is crucial to avoid plaque and tartar, a hard mineral deposit that can cause gums to become swollen and inflamed, leading to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. “My recommendation is to floss at night,” says AACD president Ronald M. Goodlin, DDS. “During sleep cycles, less saliva is produced to naturally clean teeth and gums, so oral bacteria are free to do more damage. Therefore, it’s important to brush, floss and scrape your tongue every night to get rid of bacteria and go to bed with your mouth as clean as possible.”
3. Select the Right Toothpaste
Anaheim, CA, cosmetic dentist Jack Ringer, DDS, cautions his patients to be skeptical of any toothpaste that promises to “whiten” teeth. The reality is that removal of surface stains by toothpaste will make the tooth “look” lighter, but not change its inherent color. To lighten or “bleach” teeth, schedule a professional in-office whitening treatment, or use over-the-counter name brand bleaching products that work on the internal aspect of the tooth, not just the external aspect as toothpaste does.
4. Don’t Forget Mouthwash
It’s more important than you think. Click here to learn why you really should be using mouthwash.
5. Eat Foods Good for Healthy Teeth
Research studies show that certain foods naturally cleanse your teeth while you eat them. These foods are known to improve oral hygiene.
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