A straight and white smile is becoming more sought after than ever before. This mind-set began when we first started to develop an interest in mimicking the results of celebrity cosmetics, also called the ‘Hollywood smile’.
Today, the price of cosmetic dentistry, like tooth whitening and adult orthodontics has become far more affordable and accessible. It means today’s Hollywood smile is now the ‘Love Island smile’. As a reality show, this creates an image that cosmetic dentistry is obtainable and as ‘normal’ as visiting the hairdresser or barber.
More of us are taking an interest in searching for ways to improve our own smile. However, while changing the appearance of our teeth sits high on many people’s wish lists, it is important to remember the most important thing – the health of our smile.
A white smile can also be a healthy one
A perfectly white smile may not always be what it seems, and a white smile is not necessarily a healthy one. White teeth as a result of tooth whitening are still susceptible to tooth decay and disease.
Just as white teeth can improve our self-esteem, suffering from tooth loss can have the opposite effect. Strong evidence suggests that gum disease is linked to wider conditions such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and dementia. The health of our mouth isn’t only important for the state of our smile, it is also incredibly influential for our quality of life.
We need to realize that the health of our teeth is the most important factor, far more important than the color. The good news is that with regular care at your dentist, regular brushing at home, and good dental care habits, you can be assured to maintain a smile that is both healthy and beautiful.
How to keep a healthy mouth
A good oral health routine at home and regularly visiting our dentist is all we need to have healthy teeth and gums. It involves a few easy steps:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes. This is best done the last thing at night and one other time during the day.
- Clean in between your teeth daily with interdental brushes or floss.
- Use mouthwash daily.
- Chew sugar-free gum in between meals.
- Cut down on the amount of sugary foods and added sugar in your diet, and also reduce the number of times per day you consume sugary foods by limiting sugar consumption to mealtimes.
- Visit your dentist as often as they recommend.
By sticking to this basic routine, we can achieve that healthy, beautiful smile.
Loat, Stephen, “Why a white smile should also be a healthy smile”. Oral Health Foundation.