A bright, healthy smile takes work. There’s no two ways about it. Even if you’ve recently had some cosmetic procedures done, it’s still going to be all on you to take care of it to ensure that it keeps looking good for years to come.

There are a lot of things out there – mostly in our diets – that tend to work against us when it comes to maintaining a smile. We may love our coffee, tea, wine, and soda, but those types of beverages tend to leave a lot of stains. That doesn’t mean we have to give up everything we like, but it does mean we have to be more serious about how we care for our teeth.

Maintaining your smile

There are some things that we can all do to make sure that we give our smiles their best chance to shine.

1.  Brushing and flossing – Well, this was probably the obvious one that you were expecting the minute you read the title. But there simply no way around the importance of this. You need to brush at least twice a day and floss once. Then, if you do consume some of those beverages and foods that could stain your teeth, then you might consider brushing then, too. (At the very least, you should rinse your mouth with water after those beverages.)

Remember that there is a right way and a wrong way to do this, and yet a lot of adults may not be getting the most out of their daily flossing and brushing routine. If you have any concerns about that, be sure to speak to us about it at your next appointment.

2.  Avoid stainers – We already mentioned that certain beverages like coffee, tea, whine, and soda can leave unwanted stains on your teeth. If you can, you should try to avoid them. If you can’t, you might consider drinking through a straw, so at least the liquid will bypass your front teeth somewhat.

3.  Use quality equipment – In our office, we only use the best equipment. The same should be true at your home. A cheap or old toothbrush can only do so much. Consider getting an electric toothbrush if it fits in the budget, but if you go with a manual brush, be sure that you get one with soft bristles so you don’t unduly wear out your enamel.

Whichever you chose, remember that the brush (or the head of the electric brush) needs to be changed every 3 or 4 months.

4.  Get professional treatments – Regular checkups will catch cavities and reduce the chances of future problems. We’ll also take this time to re-examine any recent cosmetic procedures to make sure they’re all working properly. (I.e. double checking the progress of your Invisalign braces, making sure the veneers are performing well, etc.)

A good, professional cleaning is an intrinsic part of maintaining a gorgeous smile.

5.  Smile more often – What’s the point of going through all this work if you aren’t going to show off the results? The more you smile, the more confident you’ll feel, and the more you’ll feel like smiling. It’s a wonderful cycle.

It’s hard to put an exact value on your smile, but whatever it might be, it’s worth the effort to maintain your teeth and protect them from stains, cracks, and cavities. Get a routine going and stick to it, and soon you’ll be smiling wide every time you come in for your regular checkup.