Protect Your Pearly Whites with These Simple Steps
An attractive smile is one with healthy white teeth and gums—but if you don’t take care of your oral health, that smile can quickly become less than beautiful. Protect your pearly whites and keep your smile camera-ready with this practical advice.
Brush twice a day. Brushing your teeth after every meal is ideal, but once in the morning and again before bedtime should be enough to clear out food particles and bacteria. Use of a medium or soft-bristle toothbrush is ideal, as a brush that is too firm may cause the gums to bleed and wear down tooth enamel. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen teeth as you clean. Brush in a circular motion for about two minutes to ensure that you’ve cleaned each tooth thoroughly.
Floss at least once a day. Brushing only does half the job! To get teeth really clean, you need to get between the teeth to remove pieces of food and plaque buildup. Be sure to use a long piece of floss and wind it around your fingers as you go to avoid reusing the same part of the floss over again.
Use a mouth rinse. Again, a mouth rinse with fluoride is ideal, but one with antiseptic properties will help kill bacteria and loosen stubborn food particles. If there’s no mouth rinse or mouthwash available, swishing with a mouthful of water will help in a pinch.
Get plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Calcium is a mineral that is vital to the development and structure of your bones and teeth—ninety-nine percent of the calcium your body stores in the bones and the teeth. But calcium needs vitamin D to be absorbed by your systems. Adequate amounts of D are often found in the same foods as calcium, but D can also be absorbed through your skin via sun exposure.
As the popular saying goes: "only floss the teeth you want to keep!"