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Eight Ways to Keep a Healthy Smile

Healthy Smile

Eight Ways to Keep a Healthy Smile

A healthy smile can win the hearts of many. However, a few of us struggle to keep our smiles healthy. If you are one of them, you can simply improve your smile by maintaining your oral health. Your dental hygiene will not only contribute to your smile, but it can also be beneficial for your overall well-being. Some lifestyle changes will serve the purpose so let’s discuss how to keep a healthy smile and restore self-confidence.

1. Floss Daily

Many of us ignore flossing. Often, we think that it won’t really help, but flossing can boost your oral health by removing food particles and bacteria. After eating, some prefer to use a toothpick to remove the food particles stuck between teeth, but a toothpick might not be as effective as flossing.

Even if you brush your teeth regularly, you should consider flossing daily to eliminate all the unwanted food from between your teeth. Flossing is easy and can be done by anyone. This simple and traditional method can limit your time spent in the dentist’s chair.

Flossing will foster healthy gums and teeth. You just need to know the right way to floss in order to maximize the benefits. When not done properly, flossing can damage the gum line.

The best way to floss is to wrap the ends of the floss around each index finger and maintain a two-inch distance between fingers. Make sure to unroll a fresh section of floss for each tooth. While flossing, you need to keep it tight against your teeth to remove the plaque without damaging your gums.

If you avoid flossing, food deposits can cause serious dental issues including gingivitis and periodontal disease. You should floss daily for a healthy smile.

2. Visit Your Hygienist At Least Twice a Year

Having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year is considered important to good oral health. However, some of us have a cleaning only a few times in life. Oral hygiene is a must to keep most dental problems at bay.

You should visit your dentist twice a year for preventative cleanings, known as prophylaxis when the gums are healthy. It will minimize the risk of cavities and many other oral diseases. Even if your teeth are properly maintained and healthy, your hygienist will suggest a preventative cleaning twice a year for many good reasons.

Any preventative cleaning will boost the appearance of your teeth while removing the bacteria. Even after a preventative cleaning, bacteria will start to re-colonize, and you cannot eliminate them completely with the best dental practices at home. Therefore, you should consider preventative cleaning every six months to remove the plaque and bacteria before they can cause any noticeable damage.

There are also some other benefits to dental cleaning. During the cleaning, the dental hygienist or dentist can detect any issues and treat the conditions.

If an issue is detected at an early stage, you will spend less time and money on the treatment and also prevent gum diseases. Some gum diseases can be quite harmful, leading to a heart attack or stroke.

3. Give Up Smoking

Smoking can harm your physical and mental health in more than one way. We all are aware of the impacts of smoking on our bodies, but we should know that smoking is detrimental to our oral health. Not only can tar and nicotine change the appearance of your teeth by making them yellow, and is a leading cause of gum disease. Gum disease associated with smoking harms the tissue and bones that support your teeth.

As a result, you can experience tooth decay and possibly suffer from more severe issues such as oral cancer. So, do a favor for yourself and avoid smoking. Initially, it will not be easy to quit smoking, but you can quit gradually and then quit it completely after a while. Once you quit smoking, you will notice many positive changes in your overall well being including your oral health. Now is the time to talk to your dentist to learn how smoking negatively affects your smile and dental health.

4. Drink Fewer Colored Drinks

We all love beverages and prefer to enjoy them whenever possible, but do you know that your beverage is impacting your smile? They can definitely be a contributor to your poor oral health. Coffee, juice, red wine, and your favorite tea are the biggest culprits.

These beverages have color pigments known as chromogens that can cause staining and cavities. These chromogens are intense and can attach to your white enamel and affect the look. To avoid this, you will have to cut down your favorite teeth-straining beverages to maintain whiter teeth and a healthier smile.

Of course, it is not always possible to avoid these beverages completely, but you can minimize the consumption. Also, take extra caution after consuming them. You can use fluoride toothpaste to counteract the stains, and use teeth whitening products to reverse the damage and create a beautiful smile.

To help avoid staining, you can drink an adequate amount of water instead of beverages and sugary drinks. Water can help to maintain oral hygiene while keeping the mouth moist. Water will also wash away bacteria and food particles, which will help minimize many oral issues such as cavities. So, replace your beverages with water to keep a healthy smile.

5. Choose Cleaning and Whitening Products Carefully

Most of us prefer to use teeth whitening and cleaning products to treat stained teeth. However, all whitening products are not made equally. More importantly, they might not be effective for cleaning stained teeth, causing more damage instead of improving the condition.

There are different types of teeth whitening products. Some of them can be effective to boost your smile and restore your confidence. If you are planning to use a teeth whitening product, consult your dentist beforehand. There is a product for everyone and your dentist will know which one is designed for you. He or she is the best person to help you with the right solution.

6. Use a Quality Toothbrush

Have you ever given extra attention to choosing a toothbrush? If not, you should do so. Buy a brush that has soft bristles and is the right size for your teeth. Make sure that the head size is correct for your mouth and will not cause any problem while brushing the back of your teeth. Remember that bacteria can easily hide in hard to reach areas.

The bristles need to be soft and small enough to cover the gap between the teeth. If you buy a brush with hard bristles, then it can wear down your gums and teeth. So, be smart and always choose a quality brush to maximize the benefits of brushing. And don’t forget that you need to replace your brush regularly.

A brush can last up to three months if used properly. When you notice that the bristles are starting to bend, you should replace it fast. Otherwise, it will not serve its purpose.

You may also want to consider using an electronic toothbrush such as the Oral B®, which has a rounded head just like your hygienist uses. An electronic toothbrush also helps prevent you from brushing too hard causing gum recession.

7. Brush At Least Twice a Day

The first step to maintaining oral hygiene is brushing. Brushing is important to have a healthy smile. It can prevent many oral issues including cavities. Dentists, along with The American Dental Association, recommend brushing twice a day.

Don’t forget that you will need to get the right brush and toothpaste with fluoride. You can consider any fluoride toothpaste. Regular brushing will minimize plaque, which is a sticky film that contains bacteria and can damage your teeth over time.

Also, follow the right techniques to remove all the food particles between your teeth. For the right technique, you need to position the brush to the gums at a 45-degree angle and brush the outer surface with gentle and short strokes.

Follow the same technique to brush the entire surface of your teeth, including the top and the back. Remember to include cleaning your tongue by brushing it gently and then rinsing your mouth as well as rinsing the brush.

8. Don’t Let Tooth and Gum Issues Fester

If you have developed the habit of ditching your dentist, this could lead to many oral issues. Some dental problems may be life-threatening so you will need to visit your dentist regularly for an oral health check-up.

You may end up spending some money on regular visits, but regular consultations will reduce any treatment costs in the long run. Also, you should never ignore minor issues. Some people do not pay attention to bleeding gums and tooth pain. They avoid dental visits due to the fear of what treatment plans may cost, but if you don’t see your dentist regularly, you may end up spending much more when the issue becomes severe.

Keep in mind, what seems to be a minor dental issue can lead to tooth decay, trauma, and gum diseases when not addressed immediately. Also, regular visits can detect life-threatening diseases such as cancer, which is treatable if detected at an early stage.

Develop all these healthy habits and act smart to have a healthy smile!


Related Dental Services: Dental Services

What is Botox?

What Is Botox® and How Is It Used?

Today, Botox® injection has become one of the most well-known beauty treatments and one of the most preferred methods used by many men and women who want to correct the wrinkles that come with age. But what is Botox®?


What is Botox®?

Botox® is the trade name for botulinum toxin type A. It is derived from a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which is found inactively in the natural environment, which includes forests, cultivated soils, and in the sediment of lakes, streams, coastal waters, and untreated waters.

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, Botox® can be used in cosmetics very safely and with good results. It is mainly used to make wrinkles and frown lines that appear with age disappear from the face. This is achieved through injections, which blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, causing the wrinkles to relax and soften.


How Botox® works for wrinkles

Botox® is mainly used to remove those wrinkles acquired as the skin ages. This result is achieved by injecting the serum into certain muscles that are responsible for wrinkles. Once Botox® reaches a nerve end, it blocks acetylcholine, the chemical responsible for initiating muscle contractions. That’s because botulinum toxins chase down proteins that release acetylcholine.

When Botox® is administered to the muscles around wrinkles and fine lines, those muscles relax and stop moving. Once they are relaxed, the appearance of wrinkles and lines will be smoothed out. Botox® is most often used and is approved to treat vertical eyebrow lines, known as glabellar wrinkles, and also to remove crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles. Although the procedure is quick and easy, the full effects of Botox® take between 7 and 10 days to be seen.

Keep in mind, this anti-wrinkle effect of Botox® is only temporary. It only lasts for four to six months and cannot correct the damage caused by the sun. After these months have passed, the person will have to receive a new injection to keep their skin stretched and wrinkle-free.

Botox® injection to remove wrinkles is a simple and very safe treatment. It only takes a few minutes and does not require anesthesia. Botox® is injected with a fine needle, causing minimal discomfort. Generally, it takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is recommended to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment.


Botox® for migraines

Even though Botox® is best known for its ability to reduce facial wrinkles, it has also been shown to be of great help in preventing chronic migraines in some people and it has met FDA approval. Treatment for chronic migraines is generally carried out for patients who suffer headaches for more than fifteen days a month. It is normally administered every three months and its effects last between two to two and a half months.

Using Botox® for chronic migraine headaches every three months is the national standard according to the American Headache Society


How does it work?

This treatment for headaches consists mainly of injecting Botox® into the muscles of the forehead, scalp, neck, and shoulders. Doctors believe Botox® works for migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that relay pain signals from the brain. Botox® acts as an obstacle on that path to stop the chemicals before they reach the nerve endings around the head and neck. However, the pain does not disappear permanently. After a few months, the headaches tend to reappear.

In some cases, Botox® is usually all that is needed to keep chronic headaches under control, although some people require more medications or other treatments to prevent their migraine attacks. This is usually observed during the last two weeks of the Botox® cycle because Botox® loses its affects during this time. Some of the migraine medications prescribed may include anticonvulsants, some antidepressants, cardiovascular medications such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, and other migraine medications.
Side effects

The most common side effects of Botox® injections include neck pain, headache, and swelling or bruising at the injection site. Allergic reaction to Botox® is also possible. The most common signs of an immediate allergic reaction to Botox® may be hives, shortness of breath, and swelling in the lower legs.

There is also a risk that the botulinum toxin can spread to the surrounding tissues and cause problems such as misplaced eyebrows, excess tears, dry eyes or eyelid drooping. Eyelid drooping is usually more common in people very sensitive to botulinum toxin or people who already have a droopy eyelid. By changing the injections to a slightly different site, in some cases, this side effect can be reduced.

The worst case is that botulinum toxin could spread to other parts of the body causing more serious problems such as vision problems, difficulty speaking, breathing, or swallowing. Doctors do not recommend the use of Botox® in women who are breastfeeding or who are pregnant. The side effects of the toxin in a fetus are not known. However, thousands of chronic migraine patients have been treated effectively and safely.

Botox® should always be applied under the care of an experienced doctor because it can be very dangerous if administered incorrectly.

Botox® for brow lift

The passage of time takes its toll on the face. To combat this, one of the revealing “new youth” aesthetic medical treatments is the brow lift. With age, the eyebrow tends to sag, giving a sad and tired look. This brow lift, when performed by experts, is very safe and has incredible results that will make you look much younger. The elevation of the eyebrows is carried out through the infiltration of botulinum toxin (known by its trade name Botox®) into the forehead above the brow.


How it is performed?

Modifying the shape of the eyebrows with Botox® is a procedure that requires a great understanding of the function of the muscles that raise the brows. To shape the eyebrows with Botox®, the treatment must be accompanied by treatments on other areas of the face such as the forehead.

The smallest doses of Botox® are injected above the lateral aspect of the eyebrows, thereby opening up the eye. Additional injections can be placed at the end of the brows to relax the eye muscles. This causes the forehead muscles to pull up that area as well. This medicine is not a substitute for surgery, but in young people, it has excellent results in preserving the skin and slowing down the aging process.

The eyebrow lift is also performed in the office with a very fine, sterile needle after applying an anesthetic cream or local anesthetic spray. After a few seconds, when the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor determines and marks the areas to be treated according to the muscle structure. Botox® injection does not require an allergy test or previous preparations and is done superficially.

The procedure is completely safe and it lasts no more than twenty minutes with minimal or no discomfort. After the application, the patient can return to their normal routine without any impediment. Keep in mind, it is important to mention that after administering Botox®, you should not lie down or exercise for four hours.

The treatment of eyebrow-raising with botulinum toxin has a high satisfaction rating among those who have used it since the effect is very successful and safe.  The full effect of the treatment is seen after 48 hours, although a large part of the results is observed within a few hours after treatment. Like the results from using Botox® for wrinkles, this also lasts from four to six months.

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