It’s one of those things we hear all our lives: ‘Take care of those teeth if you want to keep that smile.’ What we don’t always get along with this little bit of wisdom is applicable advice on just what to do to ‘take care of those teeth.’ What’s more, the end product that we call a smile is a whole lot more than a visual amalgamation of our individual teeth with our lips peeled back. Next time you’re in for a Tulsa teeth cleaning, just ask your dentist what a smile means to them and you’ll see some of the amazing complexity that goes into this behavior.
When we’re talking about oral hygiene in regards to our smiles, then we’re delving into a place where dentistry, sociology, and psychology all come together. You can have the healthiest teeth in the world but still feel too insecure to ever show them, and so have a great potential smile that isn’t ever realized. Or, you might live in a society where showing your teeth while smiling is normalized as a sign of aggression and not friendliness—while this is unlikely because of correlations between language and smiling norms, it would certainly alter the roles of dentistry and orthodontics in the medicalization of your smile. For instance, the practice of whitening, or bleaching, would have a very different context. And these are just a couple of examples of how smiles bring these fields of study into communion.
If you read those examples and you take a moment to think about the various roles that smiling plays in your own life, as well as the cultural lore that gets shared about these roles (often rules about when and how to smile), I’m sure you’ll find many more examples of your own. No matter the roles and the lore, though, there are some basic tips we can all use to maintain a healthy smile.
Brush daily: Brush for two minutes, twice a day.
Floss Daily: Floss between every tooth after brushing both times each day.
Use fluoride-containing products: make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride.
Avoid sitting sugars: Don’t leave sugar on your teeth where it can feed bacterial growth.
Stay hydrated: Don’t let your mouth dry out. Our saliva is an essential protector of our teeth and gums.
Be aware of what foods and beverages will stain: Just be mindful that some foods and drinks can stain your teeth. The easiest way to deal with these, besides avoiding them, is to rinse your mouth afterward with plain water.
Avoid abrasions against enamel: Things like chewing on ice can damage the enamel coating that protects our teeth. Avoid impacts against your teeth or biting down on overly tough objects (e., ice, whole nuts, hard candy, etc…).
Stimulate your gums: Make sure that you’re brushing your gums every time that you brush your teeth.
Smile: Simply smiling more often can make us more comfortable with our own smile, and studies have shown that the confidence of the person smiling has a strong correlation to how that smile is received.
See the dentist twice a year for a Tulsa teeth cleaning: Don’t forget to make use of the dentist. There are things we can’t do at home and that our daily at-home regiments can’t fully.
Smiles are a big part of our social lives, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t take care of them. With a little bit of guidance and a good dentist on your side, it can be easy keeping that smile healthy and sparkling! Don’t wait, schedule a Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment with Tulsa Modern Dental today!