How to Create a Better Smile


Many people consider their smile one of their best assets. But what if you’re embarrassed to smile?

Chipped, crooked, or discolored teeth can do more than ruin a picture-perfect moment.

What do you do if you’re unhappy with your smile? You could start by whitening, one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures. It makes such a big difference. Crooked or misshapen teeth that are whitened can dramatically improve your smile. You can whiten your teeth at your dentist’s office or use trays with a professional-strength gel at home. The results are often dramatic, lightening teeth by several shades, Stanton says. A dentist whitened smile can last for years if you maintain it by using your trays about once a month.

Foods for Bright Teeth and a Healthier Smile

Regular brushing and flossing remain your best protection against tooth decay and gum problems. But a tooth-friendly diet can also help keep your smile bright and your gums healthy.

A balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition can help promote healthy teeth. Many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, and others, are essential to oral health.

Along with eating a healthy diet, it’s smart to limit snacking. The flow of saliva cleanses the mouth and teeth, removing cavity-promoting foods. But if you snack all the time, you expose your teeth again and again to foods that can erode enamel.

The best advice to prevent cavities? Limit your eating to three meals a day. If you snack, reach for a food that’s less likely to cause tooth decay.

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What are your best choices? Here’s the latest on foods to choose and foods to avoid in order to keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.

Can My Diet Help My Smile?

Q: I know coffee stains my teeth, but are there any foods that will help keep them looking white and healthy?

A: Regular brushing and flossing are your best bets for keeping your teeth healthy. But yes, certain foods can keep your smile looking bright by contributing to your overall oral health.

For instance, foods that increase saliva production help wash food off your teeth as well as neutralize the acids produced by foods as you chew them  acids that can erode tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay. Those foods include sugar-free gum and drinks, cheese, and milk.

Preventing gum disease is also crucial for keeping your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful. Fish and flaxseed are both rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which prevent inflammation and may help protect against gum disease.

Foods to avoid, by the way, include sugary drinks and snacks (the sugar promotes bacteria that increase acids that can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities); some starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, and pasta (which also raise acid levels in the mouth); and, yes, coffee, tea, and red wine, which can stain teeth. Choose water and sugar-free drinks as often as you can — they help wash acid-producing food from your mouth.

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