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Four Things You Can Do to Keep Your Smile White and Bright

family dentistWhen you were just a developing baby inside your mother’s womb, you had teeth. They weren’t the large, adult-sized teeth you have now, and they weren’t even the tiny primary teeth you first had but lost one by one in elementary school. Those all came later.

In the womb, you had a very primitive set of teeth that didn’t reach down fully into your mouth. They stayed up in your gums only to descend later on as you grew and matured into a toddler, then an adolescent. But it’s these teeth — and the ones you currently have now — that make you the person you are. Scientists have found that a person’s smile is just as unique as his or her fingerprints. That’s an important realization to make.

With all that in mind, why would you let your smile simply go to waste? Of course, going to a family dentist appointment isn’t anyone’s favorite activity, but it’s necessary in order to maintain proper oral health. But you don’t have to physically go to the dentist’s office (or undergo any fancy cosmetic dentistry procedures) in order to maintain a healthy smile. It really just takes a few key tips you can practice at home. For example:

Toss away your toothbrush after you’re sick.
We need them to keep our smiles bright, but toothbrushes can actually be havens for bacteria — especially right after you’ve been sick. Always get a new one after any kind of big illness like the flu, and even after smaller ailments like colds and coughs. You know that saying about when the get an oil change, “Every three months or 3,000 miles?” The same thing should go for replacing your toothbrush, though 3,000 brushes might be a long time. Better just to stick with every few months or so.

Cut back on the coffee and tea.
Coffee and tea, as deliciously soothing as they are, both contain tannins, which are staining agents that can make your smile yellow over time. Cutting back is, understandably, simply an impossibility for some people, so here’s a better solution: Invest in straws. Sipping your hot beverage through a straw might be slightly less satisfying, but it can help keep your teeth white because it prevents excessive tannins in the liquid from staining them.

Don’t forget to floss.
Since your first childhood trip to the family dentist, chances are you’ve heard the terms “brushing” and “flossing” paired up like fruits and vegetables. There’s a reason for this and it actually has nothing to do with dentists wanting to make your life even more difficult than it is. Flossing regularly helps clear out food particles from the impossible-to-reach places, thereby preventing disease and infection from occurring down the road. At least once a day, take some time to floss and protect your smile.

Keep your family dentist in the loop.
The worst thing you can do for your smile is to have your dentist become a stranger. You might not be too crazy about family dental care appointments, and that’s perfectly reasonable, but it’s no excuse to skip out on them altogether. Regular appointments are the only way you can protect your smile through professional preventative care, so make one and stick to it.

Ask a dentist about any issues you might be having, too, in order to get them checked out before they become more serious.