Four Quick Smile Makeover Tips

If you'll be meeting your significant other's parents for the first time this holiday season, you may be worried about making a great first impression. A great smile can give you the confidence to put your best foot forward, but during this busy time of year, you may not have time to see your dentist for cosmetic dental treatments. Fortunately, all it takes is a few modifications to your daily dental hygiene routine to achieve the perfect smile makeover.

1. Brush With Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpastes such as Colgate Total Advanced Whitening, contain abrasive ingredients that help remove 80% of surface stains to whiten teeth, so they're an easy way to improve the look of your smile. To make your smile brighter before your festive get-together, simply switch your regular toothpaste for a whitening toothpaste.

Whitening toothpastes can take several weeks to yield results, so start using them as soon as you get your RSVP to your partner's family gathering. If you receive a last-minute invite and need faster results, opt for other whitening options, such as whitening gels.

2. Remember to Floss

Flossing is an important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but many people could improve their flossing routine. The American Dental Association explains that 20 percent of people don't floss at all, while only 40 percent floss their teeth every day.

If you aren't already flossing daily, the holidays are a great reason to get into the habit. Flossing reduces gingivitis and freshens your breath. Plus, flossing removes plaque bacteria along the gumline and those embarrassing pieces of food that get stuck between your teeth.

3. Avoid Foods That Stain

To keep your teeth looking their best, try to avoid eating foods that could stain your teeth and undo your whitening efforts. Highly pigmented foods like pasta sauce and curry dishes can contribute to stains, as can some types of fruits, like blueberries and raspberries.

A number of beverages can contribute to stains, as well. These beverages include coffee, tea, soda and wine. Surprisingly, it's not just red wine that can stain your teeth; white wine may cause more discoloration since it's more acidic.

4. Swish With Mouthwash

When you go in for your first hug or firm handshake, bad breath could totally kill your initial impression. So, before you ring the doorbell, rinse with mouthwash. While some mouthwashes only mask bad breath odors with minty freshness, others contain ingredients that kill the bacteria responsible for bad breath. For long-lasting freshness, look for mouthwashes that contain antibacterial agents or those that have a germicidal ingredient, like cetylpyridinium chloride.

Meeting your significant other's parents for the first time can be nerve-wracking, but giving yourself a quick smile makeover beforehand will surely boost your confidence.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Common Conditions During ADULTHOOD

As we get older, dental care for adults is crucial. Here are a few of the conditions to be aware of:

Gum disease – if your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.

Oral cancer – according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. About approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.

Dental fillings break down – fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.