If you aren’t very happy with your smile, it can have a negative impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
It may also affect how other people perceive you, and influence your ability to be comfortable socializing or get a new job.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can improve the appearance of your teeth and overall oral health to feel better about your smile.
Table of Contents
Here are 10 great ways to improve your smile.
1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly
One of the most important things you can do to care for and improve your smile is to visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning.
A dentist can help identify any concerns before they become a painful or cosmetic problem and make personalized recommendations based on your current oral health.
2. Limit Acidic or Starchy Foods and Beverages
Unfortunately, that much-needed cup of coffee in the morning and afternoon pick-me-up with tea, coffee, or soda isn’t good for promoting a healthy smile.
Even a healthy snack like fruit can contain acid, and wholesome foods might be heavy on starch.
Starch converts to acid while it lingers in your mouth, and acid breaks down the protective enamel on your teeth (which can lead to decay, discoloration, and cavities).
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water regularly throughout the day helps flush away acid and food particles that can cause discoloration and tooth decay due to the buildup of harmful bacteria.
It also makes your teeth stronger, which can keep your smile healthy and prevent painful or unsightly issues.
Additionally, drinking water keeps you hydrated and helps prevent dry mouth (another surprising cause of tooth decay).
4. Practice Good Daily Oral Hygiene
Make a commitment to brushing, flossing, and using the right mouthwash to keep your teeth and gums healthy at least twice every day.
This helps avoid (and may even reverse) conditions like gum disease and tooth discoloration or decay.
5. Quit Smoking
There are many reasons smoking can be harmful to your body, including how it affects your oral health.
Cosmetically, smoking can cause stains that penetrate the protective enamel of your teeth and may not be possible to remove over time.
It also makes you more susceptible to receding gums and wider spaces between your teeth as a result of gum disease.
The best way to avoid these cosmetic and oral health concerns is to quit smoking as soon as possible.
6. Use the Right Toothbrush
Using a high-quality electric toothbrush is the best way to keep your gums and teeth free of plaque for a whiter, healthier smile.
There are great options at various price points; some even feature different settings for sensitive teeth or whitening.
If you can’t find one within your price range, however, be sure to use a soft-bristled manual toothbrush. Harder bristles can damage the protective enamel on your teeth and cause premature gum recession.
7. Try a Whitening Treatment
If your teeth are stained, you might consider a whitening treatment.
There are plenty of over-the-counter products available depending on your budget and needs. Whitening toothpaste, mouth rinses, strips, pens, or trays are all affordable and effective for reducing the appearance of most mild or moderate stains.
Tougher stains might require professional help to address. Talk to your dentist about your options, like laser procedures and custom whitening trays.
8. Consider Alignment
Painful and embarrassing braces are no longer the only option for improving the alignment of crooked or crowded teeth.
Advances in dental technology have made it more easy and affordable than ever to access invisible aligners.
Some companies offer at-home impression kits if you qualify for remote treatment services.
Even if you require alignment treatment in a dentist’s office, these services are usually less painful and expensive than they were in the past (and may even take less time than you think).
9. Invest in a Custom Mouth Guard
A major cause of shifting teeth and jaw alignment is grinding and clenching while you sleep. It’s a common problem many people aren’t even aware of.
You can maintain the alignment of your teeth and jaw by investing in a custom night guard, which is an affordable way to avoid more expensive procedures down the road.
10. Get Recommended Repair and Cosmetic Procedures
If your teeth are broken, cracked, missing, or damaged in any other way, don’t wait to visit your dentist and learn about your options for addressing these issues.
Although some methods of improving your smile are easier than others, there’s something everyone can do to help boost their oral health and confidence.
If you’re not sure which of these tips is right for you, consult your dentist so you can start improving your smile as soon as possible!