Remember the last time you broke into a smile when someone smiled at you? There are studies^ to support that smiling is indeed infectious. When we see a person smile, it mentally stimulates us to smile and that lifts our spirits. Therefore, be generous and light up your surroundings with your smile.
To ensure that your best smile is always ready, here are three handy tips to keep in mind:
1) Fight teeth stains
The stronger the colour of the food/beverage is (think curry, coffee, sauces), the higher the potential of staining one’s teeth. Acidic food and beverages (may not be in strong colours) such as wine, citrus fruits and carbonated drinks also promote staining.
When consuming such food/drinks,
• reduce direct contact with teeth either by using a straw; and
• do not hold the food/drink in your mouth for extended periods of time.
After consuming such food/drinks,
• rinse your mouth with water; and
• wait for 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
2) Use teeth to chew food only
This means to not use your teeth as a tool – be it to open a bottle top, open a bag of potato chips or crack shells of your chilli crab. In serious cases, these simple tasks have caused teeth to chip or crack.
Be kind to your teeth, walk a few more steps to get that bottle opener, scissors or crab cracker when required and use your teeth to chew food only.
What about chewing on ice? Although ice can be considered food, it is not recommended to chew ice as it puts one’s teeth under a great deal of pressure and can cause similar problems as those listed above. It is recommended to melt the ice slowly in one’s mouth and/or satisfy the urge to chew with baby carrots or apple chunks.
3) Golden rule of 2-2-2
“Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, for at least 2 minutes each and visit a dentist 2 times a year.” Dr Ho Kok Sen, Dental Specialist in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, advised during his interview on Singapore’s Channel NewsAsia, FirstLook Asia (view his full interview here).
Follow this golden rule and it will ensure your smile is in excellent condition.
When brushing, use a soft-bristled toothbrush, at a 45-degree angle and in a circular motion. Brushing too hard in a back-and-forth motion would cause one’s gum to recede.
May all of us smile freely and spread the joy!
^ Autonomic nervous system activity distinguishes among emotions(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6612338)
Superior facial expression, but not identity recognition, in mirror-touch synaesthesia(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21289192)