Who doesn’t want a beautiful and healthy smile? If you want to have healthy attractive teeth you want to avoid the following ten things.
1) Sugary or Starchy Treats
Most people realize that sugary sweets can cause cavities but perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn that starchy treats also break down to simple sugars and also promote tooth decay. While modern fillings can be undetectable they cost more and insurance doesn’t always cover it (assuming you even have insurance). Forking out the extra cash is sure to put a damper on your smile. If you must eat sugary or starchy snacks be sure to brush your teeth or at least rinse with water afterward.
Smoking was mentioned as hazardous to a healthy smile on almost every site I used to research this article. Not only can it turn your teeth a nasty yellow or brown color, it can prematurely wrinkle your skin, especially around your mouth where it’s exposed to the most chemicals. And of course, smoking can a host of health problems, especially cancer (the vast majority of all lung cancer cases are due to smoking), heart disease, emphysema, and fetal development problems.
3) Not Brushing Your Teeth
Anyone who wants a beautiful smile should brush their teeth gently at least twice a day. I think it’s particularly important to brush after consuming any of the items on this list, after a big meal and before bed. I personally love to brush my teeth in the morning because I enjoy the fresh minty smell as part of my morning routine. When you skip brushing bacteria and plaque can accumulate. When you repeatedly skip brushing or miss certain areas tartar can build up. All of this can lead to cavities and infection, neither of which are beautiful or healthy.
4) Excessively Hard Brushing or Crunching
Of course, you can go overboard with brushing. You want to use gentle motions and a soft toothbrush. You do want to brush away any food particles or bacteria from every tooth but you do not want to scrub your gums away or abrade your teeth. Chewing ice or repeatedly crunching other such hard substances can damage your teeth too, creating cracks and even breaking your teeth. Be kind to your teeth and gums because you want them to last a long time.
5) Dark and Yellow Beverages
Coffee, cola, many teas, and other dark or yellow drinks can stain your teeth. It’s especially important to avoid drinking tooth staining beverages after whitening your teeth as they are likely to be more porous and absorb the stains more easily. One of my friends was advised to drink only clear beverages for two weeks after her professional tooth whitening. White teeth are considered healthy and beautiful in our society. Brown, yellow or darkly stained teeth make you look older and less attractive.
6) Thumb Sucking
This is more important for children to avoid as their teeth are still growing. Sucking your thumb can shift the alignment of your teeth in an unhealthy or unattractive way. Correction can require expensive braces or even surgery. If you want a healthy, beautiful smile, save your teeth and skip the thumb sucking.
7) Prolonged Contact with Acids
I almost titled this one “Lemon Sucking” as that seems to be the most common habit people have that expose their teeth to acid for a long time. Acid breaks down tooth enamel which can lead to all kinds of dental problems.
8) Drinking Alcohol Excessively
This one was a surprise to me. Not that I didn’t realize alcohol consumption has its issues, but I didn’t know that excessive drinking can cause oral cancer. This is clearly something you want to avoid if you want a healthy smile.
9) Missing Dentist Visits
It’s a good idea to see your dentist twice a year for examination and cleaning of your teeth. If you have certain health problems you may need to see your dentist more often but s/he should advise you of that when you provide your health history. Don’t skip these visits or let more time than necessary lapse between visits. Your dentist is able to spot problems long before you or I might identify them. Just like with any other health problem, early identification often saves the day in terms of less damage and better recovery chances (and little problems are usually less expensive to fix than big problems too).
10) Failing to Floss
A lot of people who are good about brushing their teeth skip flossing. Don’t be one of them. Toothbrushes just can’t get in between teeth like floss can. In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, be sure to floss at least once a day and you will likely reduce your cavity risk dramatically. Now that’s something to smile about.