4 Tips to a Healthy Smile

When someone sees a bright smile, they assign highly positive traits to the personality behind it. A genuine expression of positive emotion is known as the Duchenne smile, and to others, this smile is a signal of cooperation and kindness.

A smile radiates positive energy, which leads to a healthy lifestyle. Those with healthy teeth and gums oftentimes smile. Researchers found evidence that gum disease negatively affects an individual's smile, and inhibits people from displaying positive emotions through a smile.

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Brushing Up on the Basics

It's important to remove plaque from your teeth at least twice a day. Once should be before bedtime. Sugar and starch in food and drinks cause bacteria in your mouth to release acids that can attack your tooth enamel for at least 20 minutes. Choose nutritious foods that are low in carbohydrates and sugar, and drink plenty of water, to help reduce harmful acid production.

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Electric or Manual?

British researchers found that electric toothbrushes with bristles that rotate in one direction, and then the other—rotational oscillating toothbrushes, are more effective at cleaning plaque than manual toothbrushes. These electric toothbrushes removed 11 percent more plaque, reduced gingivitis by 6 percent, and represented a 17-percent reduction in bleeding gums.

Dental Floss vs. Waterpick

"Standard dental floss is generally considered the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between the teeth," says Alan Carr, D.M.D., who suggests using dental floss to scrape up and down the sides of each tooth. Use 18-inches of floss, and use your thumbs and forefingers to gently pull the floss from the gum line to the top of the tooth. If it is hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder.

Whitening Toothpaste

There's good news for those with sensitive teeth. New research shows that whitening toothpaste containing the chemical blue covarine can make teeth immediately appear whiter by creating an optical illusion that makes teeth appear less yellow. Look for a brand that has a seal of approval from a reputable dental organization—such as the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance.

A bright smile projects happiness, confidence, attractiveness, sociability and sincerity.

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About the Author

Judi Sheppard Missett

Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. Today the program boasts more than 7,800 instructors teaching more than 32,000 classes weekly in all 50 states and 32 countries. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor.  For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.

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