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Studies have shown that maintaining healthy, natural and radiant teeth not only benefits your self confidence, but your social and professional interactions as well. If you have a good set of clean, bright teeth with no gaps, you are considered more healthy and attractive – on first impressions. However, a lot of people are under the false impression that to achieve pearly perfect whites, a quick teeth whitening treatment is all you need. While getting your teeth whitened is an invaluable and beneficial cosmetic dental treatment, there’s more to achieving healthy, beautiful teeth than getting them bleached. To keep your teeth in excellent condition, you also need to take care of them with healthy oral habits.

You also need to follow a healthy lifestyle – specific to your age and life stage. Taking a holistic approach to your oral health is the best way to keep your smile going, and your teeth strong and healthy for a lifetime. Here are 10 tips for a healthy and beautiful smile for life:

  • Review and improve your brushing and flossing routine. A lot of adults have flawed brushing and flossing techniques which enable plaque and decay to develop in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Your dentist can help you identify the weak links in your home oral health care routine.
  • Avoid diet soft drinks (as well as sugary soft drinks). Both beverages are highly acidic and cause tooth erosion. Dark-coloured soft drinks can also stain teeth over time. When drinking soft drinks, try using a straw to prevent the soft drink from coming into contact with your teeth.
  • Stop smoking. Smokers heal slower than non-smokers after gum infections and oral surgery. Smokers are at higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
  • Relax. You may be tensing your jaw and clenching your teeth if you aren’t. This facial action leads to excessive wear on your teeth and possible chipping and cracking. If you grind your teeth while sleeping, a night mouthguard from your dentist can help prevent further damage. However, learning relaxation techniques is the best way to deal with the stresses of life.
  • Don’t over bleach your teeth. Over-bleaching may lead to damage to your tooth surfaces and increased sensitivity. Touch-ups are okay once or twice a year.
  • Eat a healthy, nutritious and well-balanced diet. By giving your body the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that it needs, you can help ensure healthy teeth, bones and gum tissue in your oral cavity. Over-50s need to ensure that their Vitamin D and calcium intake is adequate to prevent bone loss.
  • Get your dental work checked. Fillings, crowns, inlays, onlays, veneers and bridges can wear out over time. If they crack or chip, oral bacteria can infiltrate the spaces, penetrate the inner tooth, and cause decay. Attending regular dental check-up and cleans can ensure that any worn out or damaged dental work is identified early and repaired.
  • Drink more water. Keeping your mouth well hydrated prevents it from drying out. A dry mouth condition increases the risk of plaque and tooth decay/erosion. One in four Australians is affected by a dry mouth. If you have a dry mouth condition, try using a mouth wash specially formulated to manage dry mouth symptoms.
  • 40 year milestone. When you reach 40 get a proper check up for any early signs of a potentially serious health condition. Certain oral health conditions, such as gum disease, may be linked to heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
  • Pregnant mothers, be aware. Pregnant women with elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone may be more susceptible to minor gum infections during pregnancy.