Eat These Foods to Make Your Gums Stronger
It’s no secret that our smiles are important. They make us appear friendlier and more approachable. It has even been said that smiles are the universal language. No matter where we go, flashing a bright, beautiful smile can ease tension and discomfort and show people we’re willing to be sociable. Some studies also show that smiling can boost immunity, alleviate stress, and spread happiness to others.
Improving Your Smile
Considering the importance of smiling, being comfortable with your teeth, gums, and other oral aspects is essential. Unfortunately, though, research indicates that more than 30 percent of people are unhappy with their outward, facial displays of cheerfulness. If you’re among them, certain measures can help build your confidence and make you more satisfied with your smile.
1. Keep Up with Professional Dental Care
One of the simplest and most effective ways to maintain a beautiful smile is to keep up with routine dental care. That includes twice-annual checkups and dental cleanings, but it’s only the beginning of a successful smile maintenance regimen. Your dentist offers a range of treatment options to improve your oral health and, by extension, your smile. Beyond cleanings and other treatments to keep your teeth and gums healthy, a dentist can offer a complete lineup of cosmetic dental services to create the perfect smile. On the most basic level, tooth whitening removes built-up stains from certain foods, beverages, tobacco products, and other factors that are known for causing discoloration. Dentists also provide treatments for cavities that can detract from the appearance of your teeth. In addition to whitening and cavity treatments, dentists have ways of dealing with chipped and broken teeth. Bonding, crowns, and veneers are among the most common options. Veneers can also aid in hiding damaged or uneven teeth. Dental implants and various types of teeth straightening measures can’t be overlooked, either.
2. At-Home Oral Care
Practicing good oral hygiene at home may seem like a no-brainer in theory. After all, most people understand the importance of brushing and flossing. Still, quite a few have been misinformed about how to do so properly.
Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Experts generally recommend soft- or medium-bristled toothbrushes. Be sure to cover all the surfaces of your teeth as well. If you want to take additional steps to keep your teeth white between dental visits, you can brush with baking soda once per week. Avoid doing so more frequently, though. Baking soda is safe and effective for removing mild stains, but brushing with it too often can cause gum irritation and weaken tooth enamel.
At the same time, it’s important to avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking. Once you’ve brushed your teeth, be sure to wait at least half an hour afterward to eat or drink anything, too. Foods, beverages, and brushing can temporarily open up the pores of the enamel that protects the teeth, leaving them vulnerable to damage, staining, and sensitivity for a short time.
Floss at least once daily, preferably before going to bed. This eliminates food particles between the teeth, so they can’t cause excess damage while you sleep. Consider backing up your brushing and flossing with mouthwash as well to remove excess germs and buildup. All these measures will reinforce your dentist’s efforts between visits.
3. Beyond the Teeth
Healthy teeth and gums are crucial components of a beautiful smile, but they’re not the only factors to consider. Your lips and the skin around them affect your smile as well. Dry lips are a common problem for people of all ages and genders. Avoid licking your lips, and protect them from the elements with chapstick.
For the ladies, choosing the right shade of lipstick can have a positive effect on the smile as well. Bright and dark reds, purples, and certain shades of pink sometimes make the teeth appear whiter. Shades with blue and pink undertones may make tooth discoloration appear less noticeable. Keep in mind, though, it’s also important to find colors that meld well with your overall skin tone.
Guys can improve their smiles by keeping their beards and mustaches neatly trimmed and shaped. Anyone who’s concerned about fine lines and wrinkles around their mouth can take measures to reduce those as well. Topical treatments that provide moisturization and enhance collagen and elastin production are generally the most effective.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
In addition to those solutions, there’s certainly no harm in practicing your smile in front of a mirror. Remember, one of the most critical factors here is to always ensure your smile looks natural. People can inevitably spot a fake smile by looking at your eyes. Genuine smiles encompass both the mouth and the eyes.
Some people open their eyes a bit wider than usual and raise their eyebrows when they smile. Others’ eyes narrow slightly when smiling. Figure out which one is normal for you, and work on getting the look just right. If smiling creates a double chin that you’re uncomfortable with, sitting up a little straighter and tilting your head back slightly can remedy this issue.
Tilting your head slightly to one side or the other may aid in perfecting your smile as well. Many people don’t realize this, but no one’s face is exactly symmetrical. Those normal subtle differences aren’t really noticeable from a holistic perspective, but they can affect your smile. If you have a somewhat lopsided smile that you’re not happy with, that may very well be the cause. Practicing in a mirror can help with compensating for the asymmetry.
As you’re practicing, you can develop different types of smiles for different circumstances. These may include your happy and amused expressions, friendly smiles, formal smiles for job interviews, and “official” smiles for portraits. When you practice repeatedly, you’ll learn exactly how your lips, eyes, and facial muscles feel from the inside when they form the expressions you want to accomplish on the outside.
Keeping Your Smile Healthy and Beautiful
By visiting the dentist regularly for routine, preventative, and reactive care, you can correct and even ward off issues that may make you uncomfortable with your smile. Follow up with at-home care for not only your teeth and gums but your lips and the skin around your mouth.
If you want to build confidence and perfect your facial expressions, practicing can make a world of difference. Everyone has a beautiful, healthy smile waiting underneath the surface. All these measures will help bring it to light.