Get Summer-Ready With a Healthy Smile

Warm weather is easily something to smile about, so make sure your pearly whites are in tip-top shape this season. “A healthy mouth means a healthy body,” says Dr. Rosa Lopez, a dentist based in Dallas. While proper dental care is essential all year round, you can still get a bright, healthy smile just in time for verano with these three tips:

Use a Proper Technique

You may be incorrectly caring for your teeth and gums, which could be contributing to discoloration, cavities and more. Be sure to brush at least two times a day, for two minutes each. “An electric or rotary toothbrush is much more effective at removing plaque,” says Lopez. Brush in circular or vertical strokes for optimum gum health.

Tip: Don’t forget the tongue! An unclean tongue is a main source of bad breath. “Tongue scrapers are very effective in removing bacteria,” says Lopez.

Time to Whiten

“The best way to brighten your teeth is to start with a professional cleaning at your dental office,” says Lopez. “The hygienist will efficiently remove stain and buildup, revealing clean dental enamel.” From there, Lopez suggests over-the-counter whitening strips, which will easily and effectively whiten your smile. For an extra boost of whitening power, brush daily with a whitening toothpaste, and rinse with a whitening mouthwash.

Watch What You Eat

Are you a fan of tea or coffee? Drinks like these, along with sports drinks, wine, and berries, can stain and erode your teeth. “Consume these in moderation,” says Lopez. “Use a straw to minimize staining, and rinse -- even with water -- and brush after eating if possible.” Look for crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as celery, apples and pears, which are high in water content and help produce more saliva, to gently cleanse the mouth. 

by Lauren Fischer