Our self-care guide on how to get whiter, healthier and brighter teeth, to help achieve a killer smile.
It is said, the first thing people notice about someone is their smile. Which means, smile-care, aka: teeth-care should be a part of everyone’s self-care routine.
A study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry found 40% of respondents notice a smile first, in the people that they meet. And 96% of them believe a smile is vital to a person’s appearance. Making your smile, the most important asset you have.
It’s the first thing people notice about you and the last thing you leave people with. It’s the focal point for talking, eating, and expressing emotions, especially in social media posts.
Whether it be talking to strangers, dating, or doing job interviews, maintaining a bright smile can help you seem more approachable and confident.
These are the reasons why oral hygiene should be prioritised. There are the obvious, holy grail rules including brush your teeth twice a day, floss and see your dentist regularly. But, since the pandemic, there are more face-to-face meetings, so editing your smile in pictures before posting them no longer suffices.
If you’re looking to guarantee yourself a sparkling smile, but don’t know what to do, then look no further.
Here are 7 ways to build your smile-care routine.
- Use coconut dental products
Coconut oil is the go-to beauty fix for dry skin and damaged hair – but did you know that it is just as useful for mouths too?
Coconut oil is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that soothes gums and minimises plaque buildup on the teeth. It also contains antimicrobial and antiseptic properties which combat the bacteria and decay that can arise in the mouth.
This means that using coconut oil will lead to shiny pearly whites and fresher breath.
Though it may not be beneficial to replace your toothpaste with coconut oil, there are many coconut-inspired dental products available in the market, including Cocofloss, coconut toothpaste and coconut pulling teeth whitener, which is a teeth whitening method based on ancient Ayurvedic techniques.
- Take collagen supplements
Taking care of your smile isn’t just about taking care of your teeth – the outside matters too. Smile lines, or laugh lines, typically develop more visibly as you age.
They are the vertical lines you see when you laugh, and they run from the sides of the nose, down around your mouth, towards the chin. These lines also contribute to the appearance of saggy cheeks and jowls.
Why does this happen? Simple – it’s the loss of collagen; the structural protein that keeps skin firm and supple. Thus, the only way to prevent this is by taking collagen supplements or using collagen skincare products.
- Use a tongue scraper
Tongue scraping is an effective and fast way to remove extra particles on the tongue that cause bad breath (namely, from substances called volatile sulfur compounds, ‘VSCs’) and increased bacteria.
Begin by scraping from the middle, and gradually going farther into your mouth so that you don’t gag. Pull forward and wash the device after a couple of scrapes to remove excess debris. One to two scrapes across the same area should be enough.
- Use a water flosser
Incorporating water flossers into your dental routine can help improve mouth hygiene by removing food stains more effectively by eliminating bacterial plaque and buildup which causes infections, gum disease and cavities.
This means fewer dental appointments for cleaning and checkup, and healthy, white teeth.
This option by Waterpik is one of the most successful flossers in the world, particularly in America, with more than 40% of American households owning one. Waterpik’s water flosser helps to loosen up the plaque and buildup around the teeth which toothbrushing and flossing can sometimes miss.
Do this after brushing and flossing to really reap the benefits.
- Consider teeth whitening
If you’re looking for an easy way to enhance your smile, teeth whitening may be the way to go. There are a number of products and treatments available, so you must research to find the best option for you.
For example, you could try over-the-counter (OTC) whitening strips or gels, which are quick-fix, cost-effective alternatives to professional treatments. Similarly, at-home teeth whitening kits provide similar results.
However, these methods may not be as long-lasting.
If you’re looking for a noticeable change, consider professional teeth whitening done by a dentist.
Make sure to take caution when committing to this procedure, as overdoing it can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and mild gingival irritation.
- Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks
Sugary and acidic foods damage your teeth by breaking down the enamel, which is
the hard outer layer that protects your teeth. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Enamel is also the white part that shows when you smile, so damage to it can lead to not only stained teeth but an unflattering smile too.
Some foods and drinks that are high in sugar or acidity include soda, candy, fruit juice, and coffee. You don’t have to avoid these things entirely – just be sure to drink water to counteract this.
Also, be mindful of brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking. It is recommended to wait at least 60 minutes before brushing. Colgate says this will allow the saliva to naturally wash away food particles and bring your mouth to its proper pH level.
- So naturally… drink more water
Drinking water is the solution to many general health problems, so it’s no surprise that this magical liquid does wonders for the teeth and gums too.
Water helps rinse away debris from food and bacteria. It also keeps your mouth hydrated, protecting it against staining, decay and gum disease, while simultaneously strengthening your teeth with fluoride.
- Avoid all tobacco-related products
Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of tooth damage and gum disease. It’s crucial to avoid all tobacco-related products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewable tobacco as it can cause bad breath and stained teeth.
In terms of your smile, tobacco can cause stained teeth and bad breath.
- Don’t be too aggressive with yellow teeth
While teeth whitening treatments are a great way to improve your smile, you don’t need to be too aggressive in your efforts to get rid of yellow teeth. That’s because the natural colour of human teeth is yellow, not white.
So while teeth whitening treatments are a great way to improve your smile, be sure not to be too aggressive in your efforts to get rid of that yellow tint.
This means, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and applying gentle force when brushing.
Brush in circular motions instead of aggressive horizontal ones to avoid damaging your natural enamel.