I have been asked recently about some easy steps each of us can take to imrove his/her smile. Here are a few quick and inexpensive ways to really give your smile a boost. Of course there are many ways we can help you improve your smile but the four items I have listed below are some of the most important and least costly.
1. Brush at least twice a day and floss everyday. Healthy, pink gums are much more attractive than red, swollen gums. Red and swollen gum tissues if left untreated will become peridontal disease. Periodontal disease (gum disease) which is a result of poor oral hygiene causes the gums and underlying bone to shrink. This opens up spaces between your teeth and the result is a much older looking smile. Poor oral hygiene is also the major casuse of early tooth loss. A missing front tooth doesn’t do much for your smile either.
2. Whiten your teeth. One of the side effects of living longer is we have more time on the planet to stain our teeth with foods we eat and things we drink like coffee, teas and sodas. Teeth whitening techniques are easy and are a fraction of the cost of expensive cosmetic dental treatments.
3. Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco products like chewing tobacco or snuff. First of all, the teeth become brown or yellow from the tobacco stain. Secondly, the chemicals in tobacco and the heat caused during smoking is terrible for you teeth and gums. The gums get a white, calloused appearance, the bone around the teeth will shrink and expose the roots, opening up those spaces between the teeth, resulting in a smile that ages your face instead of framing it.
4. Repair the wear to your front teeth. Take a look at a photograph of a young model and look at how her/his two front teeth are longer than the two teeth on either side of them. (the teeth on either side of your front teeth are called the lateral incisors). The realationship between the front teeth and the lateral incisors is important. Consider this; when you see a smile that you really like you may not be able to identify exactly what it is about that smile that you think is great, you just like it. Well…we know what makes a smile look great. There are certain relationships between teeth that when everything is in it’s proper place in regards to the teeth around them, the smile looks good. It is so common for front teeth to become worn and chipped and as a result they become a bit short. This most frequently occurs because of grinding or clenching the teeth at night. It makes sense that the older you are the more time you have to wear down your teeth from grinding. Restoring our front teeth to their natuaral length will give you a much more youthful appearing smile.