A Beautiful Smile

A Beautiful Smile

By: Lori Kremen

Want a bright smile for the prom? Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of good oral hygiene. Ideally you should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Ideally you should brush your teeth after breakfast and Dinner. Brushing the inside of your lower front teeth and the outside of your upper back teeth will slow the development of tartar. Tartar is basically hardened plaque that is very hard to remove. Tartar and plaque wear away your gums and discolor your pearly whites.

Toothpaste contains detergents, abrasives (scrubbers), and fluoride, which kills the plaque germs and tartar. The toothpaste you use should always contain fluoride. If you have sensitive teeth, you should consider using specially formulated toothpaste.

Flossing your teeth is as important or more important then brushing your teeth. No matter how hard you brush your teeth, you will not be able to reach the plaque and tartar, which can wear away your gums. If you don’t floss your teeth, your gums also become sensitive and may bleed when you try to floss them for the first time in a while. You should floss in between all of your teeth, especially the teeth in the back of your mouth. Gently bring the floss between your teeth, but do not force the floss under your gum line.

If you want to avoid bad breath, you should consider purchasing a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers are U-shaped devices that clean the odor causing bacteria out of your tongue. It’s not pleasant, but it works better than mouthwash, which can be used to kill remaining bacteria, but should never replace brushing and flossing.

If you want a white smile, you should ask your dentist about the products he or she recommends. Over the counter whitening products may claim to brighten your smile, but rarely contain whitening agents. Also, these products are geared towards older individuals, as teeth yellow with age. You can also ask your dentist about the cosmetic whitening treatments he or she offers.

The best way to keep your smile bright is to prevent tooth and gum diseases. You should ideally have your teeth cleaned and checked at least every six months at your dentist’s office. A dental hygienist will clean and polish your teeth. Afterwards she will have your teeth X-rayed before you meet with your dentist who will check your teeth for defects and alert you to any cavities.

If you are concerned about your smile for the prom, you should book an appointment with your dentist at least two months prior to the prom and schedule a simple cleaning one week before the prom.