Whether you're gearing up for your next routine cleaning, recovering from a recent dentist visit, or trying your best to keep teeth pristine in between visits, making sure your dentist doesn’t scold you the next time you’re back in her chair is teeth priority number one. More than that, a healthy smile means a healthy and happier you. We spoke to Dr. Maged Malecki, dental director of Boston Dental, about some ways you can achieve your smile #goals and please your dentist.
Lemonade Is Just as Bad as Coffee and Wine
While your daily cup of coffee and evening glass of wine are often teeth-staining culprits, beverages containing limes, lemon, and citrus are also bad for your grill when consumed frequently. That includes lemonade, infused waters and sodas, and limeade.
“The citrus acid can do a number on your teeth enamel if you consume a lot of it,” explains Dr. Malecki. “Drinking through a straw does help though.”
Gum Disease is Real, and It’s No Bueno
Your dentist can absolutely tell if you skip brushing and flossing on the regular. The tell tale sign (outside of cavities)? Gums that are in poor shape. That means super sensitive gums that bleed when touched, brushed or flossed, gums that have receded, and gums that are red or swollen. Brush three times a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to keep gums healthy.
You Can’t Recreate Someone Else’s Smile
Even if you wish with all your might, and even if you go to all the extreme measures, you will never have a smile that looks like Julia Roberts’s or Mila Kunis’s or Blake Lively’s. For cosmetic teeth procedures, go in with a goal to create the best smile for you.
Wisdom Teeth Can Be Removed at Any Age
Despite contrary belief, removal of wisdom teeth is not just a procedure for teenagers.
“Adults who did not have had their wisdom teeth removed when they were younger could still be candidates for removal at another time in their lives, even if the wisdom teeth are not causing any discomfort,” says Dr. Malecki. “Wisdom teeth are so high up in the back of the mouth that food often gets stuck up there and is difficult for people to remove on their own. If decay gets really bad, it can turn into a cavity that’s not easy to fill or – even worse – it can lead to needing a root canal.”
Talk to your dentist about whether you should have your wisdom teeth removed.
You Shouldn’t Stress About Overlapping Teeth
If you’ve got a couple overlapping teeth, or even a slight overbite, those aren’t reasons to stress. These are often strictly cosmetic issues, and if the crowded teeth don’t show when you talk or smile then there’s even less to worry about. Just make sure you’re cleaning really well between crowded teeth to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Everyone Should Own a Water Pick
You will be shocked – shocked! – at how much gunk you can remove with a high-powered water pick. Many dentists, including Dr. Malecki, consider it the best way to floss. Regular floss is a great option, of course, but he explains that it’s easy to miss particles. Also, if you don’t use a clean section of floss between every tooth, you can transfer food and bacteria from one area to another.