As soon as the alarm clock goes off in the morning, the day’s race begins, for the whole family. Even my 3-year old can be rushed to get to preschool on time! Horribly, I often find myself zipping through the toothbrush routine—and telling my kids to speed it up too. On the flip side, at night, we are all so exhausted, it’s hard to find the strength to squeeze the toothpaste on the brush. But, we all want a happy, healthy, bright smile, right? Dr. Peter Auster, a cosmetic dentist and owner of, Cosmetic Dentistry Associates, has shared some really great tips and reminders on how to keep those pearly whites sparkling for everyone in the family.
1. Using dental floss daily contributes to a brighter, more attractive smile, but also keeps dangerous bacteria out of the rest of your body.
Your mouth is connected to the rest of your body and your body is connected to your mouth. Bacteria that attach to teeth and gums have been shown to be in the bloodstream of patients with strokes, high blood pressure, and Diabetes. In fact, patients with gum disease are three times more likely to die from strokes and two times more likely to die from heart disease (from studies at the Mayo clinic).
2. Creating a beautiful smile can make you healthier!
Mal-aligned teeth can lead to food entrapment; uglier worn down teeth; red, diseased gums; problems in the jaw joint; and headaches including migraines. A beautiful smile can correct many of these problems.
3. A whiter smile can make you happier!
Whitening your teeth can lead to more confidence, better social interactions, and heightened self-esteem. People who smile more appear happier and more in control of their lives. An interesting fact: 1st graders smile or laugh over 400 times per day. Adults smile or laugh less than 20 times per day. We want to increase that number!
4. Scraping your tongue every morning can make everyone around you happier.
Bad breath can be generated by sulfuric gases caused by bacteria in the back of the tongue. Cleaning the tongue using a tongue scraper instead of a toothbrush with soft bristles can eliminate this problem. Try it. You’ll be amazed how fast a bad taste in your mouth disappears. Ask your dentist to recommend a tongue scraper for you.
5. A healthier diet leads to a healthier mouth.
Foods that are rich in sugar content (doughnuts, pastries, cookies, etc) stick to teeth. This can lead to tooth decay, staining of teeth, destruction of the gums, as well as potential cardiac issues. A balanced diet including vegetables, raw fruits, fish, and poultry contribute to overall better health.
6. A flossing mom leads to healthier babies!
Recent studies have shown that mothers with gum disease have a higher percentage of low birth weight and premature babies. Flossing daily helps maintain gum health and less “pregnancy gingivitis”.
7. Make sure your spouse flosses!
Gum disease and cavities can be spread by kissing. Don’t stop kissing! The couple that flosses together stays healthy together.
8. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
In a high tech world where toddlers use iPads, electronics and glitz rules. Get your kids a toothbrush with all the bells and whistles—superheroes, princesses, sports stars, batterr-powered spin bristles, flash lights, whatever it takes. Gadget-like toothbrushes will work for toddlers and young kids, then older children’s interests turn towards fitting in social circles, which is a lot easier with white teeth and fresh breath. Bottom line: Appeal to what impresses your children at that moment in time and you’ll have a happy brusher!