A recent national study revealed that more than half of adults feel that their smile has a bearing on their overall success. The majority of Americans surveyed also said that a smile can make or break a first impression, and that good oral health makes them feel most confident, surpassing other top concerns including clear skin and being in shape.
It’s clear that a bright, healthy smile is important to many people. But before you start considering extreme measures, there are some simple steps you can take on your own to maintain healthy teeth. Here are a few common habits that can be bad for your oral health — and what you can do to fix them.
While it is tempting to believe that harder toothbrush bristles will give your teeth a deeper clean, stiff bristles are actually detrimental to your oral health. Stiff bristles and brushing with too much pressure can wear down tooth enamel, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to plaque and bacteria. Brushing too hard can also cause gum recession, an irreversible oral health issue.
How to fix it
There are several options to consider for your teeth. You can get an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor, such as our Shyn Daily Sonic Toothbrush. The pressure sensor lets you know when you are applying too much pressure to your teeth and the bristles are soft to protect your enamel. Other options are to purchase a soft bristle toothbrush with the seal of the American Dental Association on it, and to mentally remind yourself to “massage” your teeth, instead of scrubbing them.
If you’re wondering how to have a perfect smile, remember that flossing is just as important as brushing. While seven in ten Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day, most people are brushing their teeth for just a bit less time than they should. On average, Americans brush their teeth for 112 seconds, a bit short of the 120 seconds (2 minutes) recommended by dentists. Additionally, one in five Americans have gone two or more days without brushing their teeth in the past year, which is detrimental to maintaining a healthy smile.
Flossing can also be a challenge, as only four out of ten Americans floss at least once a day, the recommended frequency. 20 percent of those surveyed never floss.
How to fix it
If you have a manual toothbrush, set a timer on your phone, or buy a two minute hourglass to help you adjust to the correct amount of time. You can make brushing a bit more fun by listening to your favorite podcast or song while you gently brush. If you have a Shyn Daily toothbrush, it has a built in quadrant timer, which will let you know how long to brush and when it is time to move on to the next section of your mouth. As for flossing, there have been a few updates over the years to the original roll-of-floss container. Try finding a flossing tool that meets your needs, such as our Shyn Confidently Minty Floss Picks, and keep them within easy reach to encourage this healthy habit.
There are a lot of toothbrush options on the market. Standing in the aisle and looking over all of the choices with no context can make it difficult, time-consuming and overwhelming to figure out which one is best for you. Though it might seem that any toothbrush will work just fine, keep in mind that your mouth is as unique as you are. Differences such as braces, a smaller mouth, and sensitive teeth should be considered when making your purchase. Using the wrong toothbrush for your mouth can result in anything from mild discomfort to damaging the structure of your teeth.
How to fix it
Oral health routines are most effective when they’re tailored to each unique mouth. That’s why our Shyn Daily Sonic Toothbrush has customizable settings. Next time you decide to purchase a toothbrush, think about how you felt about your last one, and, if there were any issues, make sure to do a bit of research to figure out which toothbrush, whether manual or electric, might suit your needs better.
Your smile is the gateway to your confidence, and taking care of your oral health can lead to better overall health. Do you have any tips that has helped improve your smile? Share them in the comments below or tweet them to @ShynDaily using the hashtag #ShynDaily.