Everyone wants to have a beautiful smile. Studies have shown a smile is noticed first by between 40 and 50% of people. If your smile is not picture-perfect, here are some things you can do to help.
Professional dental exam and cleaning
Some of the things we all enjoy, like coffee and red wine, stain our teeth. We all know that…Right? What you may not know that there are also several less known or less understood causes of excessive staining. For example, white wine, beets, soy sauce, and curry can also cause staining. Spend a lot of time in the swimming pool or hot tub? If so, the water can contribute. I know some of you live a no caffeine, no alcohol, no fruit or vegetables, and no swimming lifestyle, but you may still have stained teeth. Even if you do not do those things, you may just be blessed with chromogenic, or stain-causing, bacteria. Professional dental cleaning is essential for many reasons other than staining; however, if staining is your main concern, we can help by removing it and figuring out what is causing it and what you can do to help.
Brushing Daily (and flossing too)
The beginning of the year is always filled with hopes and resolutions. “This will be my year.” “New year, new me.” “I will brush and floss three times a day.” And, a few weeks into the year, we are eating donuts for breakfast while yelling at our kids to get them out the door and using floss as a hair tie (or a belt… ask me how I know). All those good intentions get thrown out the window. ” I will start again on Monday,” becomes your new mantra. If you had a donut for breakfast, you might as well have McDonald’s for lunch and dinner. If you forgot to brush or floss this morning, you will remember tonight…. or tomorrow morning. This mindset creates an all or nothing approach to everything. This includes brushing and flossing. I cannot help you with losing weight or not losing it with your kids/spouse/siblings etc… but I can help with the brushing and flossing.
- Brushing and flossing are the most important before bed. If you are going to skip this routine, skip the morning.
- If you find yourself falling asleep before you brush, or if you find yourself too tired to brush at night, just brush and floss after dinner; something is always better than nothing.
- If you are an excellent brusher but not a flosser, put floss in your shower. When you are waiting for your conditioner to set, use some of that time to floss.
There are several commercially available teeth whitening agents. I would not recommend going to TikTok to figure out how to whiten your teeth with the ingredients you have in your pantry. Still, in general, if it is specifically manufactured to whiten your teeth, it is probably safe. I cannot promise it will work, but it is unlikely it will cause damage. If you have a specific concern like sensitivity, I would recommend speaking to your dentist before using any OTC products.
If you feel like you are doing all of these things, and your smile is still not everything you want it to be, schedule time with your dentist to discuss the smile you want. They can lead you down the path to a magnificent smile.