Jump start your smile for 2012

It’s a new year, and with it comes the promise of new adventures, new challenges, and new opportunities.

Have you had your dental check up yet? To start the new year out right, your smile may need a makeover, especially after all the holiday parties and wintertime weather that has a tendency to drive up the consumption of tea, hot chocolate, and other warm foods.

Proper oral hygiene makes all the difference for getting a proper jump start on the year. Just like a car battery that’s gone on the blink, your smile may need a jump start for the new year.

Now, you may be one of those individuals who was born with a genetic makeup that has provided you with perfect teeth, and a drop dead gorgeous smile—teeth perfectly aligned and brilliantly white like an airbrushed model on the cover of a fashion magazine.

But if not, you may have some work to do. To get a dazzling smile that wows the paparazzi, or your neighbours if you’re not a socialite, getting to the dental practitioner as soon as possible for that exam, cleaning, and cosmetic whitening treatment is paramount if you wish to win that ‘Most Beautiful Smile of 2012’ award.

Unless you can afford a French dentist who can perform miracles so good that your teeth look like a natural, healthy smile, but not artificial, there are some tips you can follow to help give you that look that drives the opposite sex wild when you flash those pearly whites, according to Models Connect.

First of all remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year. Only he/she can identify any problems with your teeth or gum.

The next step is to learn how to brush your teeth. They need to be brushed two to three times a day and don’t forget to use the dental floss. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to teeth. When bacteria in plaque come into contact with food, they produce acids. These acids lead to cavities. To brush:
• Place the toothbrush against the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gum line
• Move the brush across the teeth using a small circular motion
• Continue with this motion cleaning one tooth at a time
• Keep the tips of the bristles against the gum line
• Avoid pressing so hard that the bristles lie flat against the teeth. (Only the tips of the toothbrush clean the teeth.) Let the bristles reach into spaces between teeth
• Brush across the top of the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Make sure the bristles get into the groves and crevices
• Use the same small circular motion to clean the backside of the upper and lower teeth – the side that faces the tongue.
• To clean the inside of the bottom front teeth, angle the head in an up-and-down position toward the bottom inside of the mouth and move the toothbrush in a small circle
• For the inside of the top front teeth, angle the brush in an up-and-down position with the tip of the head pointing towards the roof of the mouth. Move the toothbrush in a small circle.
• Give your tongue a few gentle brush strokes, brushing from the back of your tongue forward. Do not scrub. This helps remove bacteria and freshens your breath.
• Replace your toothbrush with a new one every 3 to 4 months.

Be careful about using whitening and tartar-control toothpastes since their additives can make some people’s teeth very sensitive. Though both types of toothpaste are safe for the most part, peroxide in whitening products and phosphate in tartar-control toothpastes can lead to sensitivity to temperature, sweets, touch and peeling of mouth tissues in some people.

How to floss
Floss once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between the teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque stays between teeth, it can harden into tartar, which must be removed by a dentist.

To floss:
• Place the floss in your mouth and use your index fingers to push the floss between the teeth. Be careful not to push too hard and injure the gums
• Move the floss up and down against the tooth and up and around the gum line. The floss should form a C-shape around the tooth as you floss
• Floss between each tooth as well as behind the back teeth
• Use a clean section of floss as needed and take up used floss by winding it around the fingers
• Eating right for a better teeth
• Eat a variety of foods but eat fewer foods that contain sugars and starches. These foods produce the most acids in the mouth and the longer they stay in the mouth, the more they can damage the teeth. Hard ‘sucking’ sweets are especially harmful because they stay in the mouth a long time. Snacking on sugary foods can lead to tooth decay because most people don’t brush after snacks. Starchy snack foods, like potato chips, stick to the teeth.

Avoid snacking on:
• Sweets, cookies, cakes and pie
• Sugary gum
• Crackers, breadsticks and chips
• Dried fruits and raisins

• Eat an apple after meal is the easiest and most preferable method to get rid of yellow teeth Other foods like celery and carrots scrubs away the stubborn stains effectively.
• Drink water after eating any food or beverage like coffee or blueberries that causes stains. Water will help in preventing stains from accumulating.
• Rub teeth with the inner white part of an orange peel for a lovely white shine.
• Strawberries are the natural teeth whiteners. Rubbing the teeth with strawberries will remove all the stains. If you choose to use this method then remember to brush your teeth immediately with fluoride toothpaste and floss, as the sugar and acid may worsen the effect if it is not brushed
• Gargling the teeth with a cup of water containing a half teaspoonful of rock salts prevents all tooth problems
• Rub the paste made of half teaspoon of bi-carbonate and soda on your teeth.

• Do not use your fingernail to remove tooth stains, as your teeth are not hard as a rock. Fingernail can actually scratch the enamel which will led debris to lodge in the enamel thus worsening the situation by making the tooth more prone to tooth cavities.
• Avoid excess intake of coffee, tea, red wine, carbonated drinks and smoking.
• Also avoid too hot and too cold drinks.

Now, unless you have an employer paid dental plan or dental insurance, visiting the dentist can be expensive. Certainly there are a variety of schemes available for purchase, and there’s always the NHS, if you have unlimited amounts of time to wait for an appointment. But if you are in a hurry to get your smile makeover, consider a discount scheme for only a few pounds per month. You get to see a practitioner without waiting, and use it as often you need, and save money. One very good scheme to consider is with Healthy Discounts, offered by Munroe Sutton.

Consider that option, even if you have a cash plan, and stretch your money to get your smile on right away. You can find more about them online at www.healthydiscounts.co.uk , and when you walk out of the dental office, be careful you don’t blind everyone with that incredibly beautiful new smile. There’s no time like now to jump start your smile for 2012.

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