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Your Million-Dollar Smile
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Lifestyle | by Diana Pemberton |

Do you have a perfect smile?

Or do you always feel compelled to cover your mouth when you laugh? Do you hate to smile for pictures? Ever wished you’d been born with great teeth?

Join the crowd. The truth is, few people are born with perfect smiles. Those million dollar mouths you see plastered all over magazines and television are often the result of many trips to the dentist or orthodontist, and can be yours for a few thousand dollars and some time in a dental chair.

Is it worth it? Many times, it is. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth, it’s probably affecting the way you communicate. Whether you rarely smile or always smile behind your hand, you’re telling the world one of two things: you’re either a sour puss or you have something to hide.

Don’t let this happen to you – especially since there are so many affordable alternatives these days. If you want a long lasting way to improve your image and boost your self-esteem, invest in your smile. Here are some simple tips:

Regular Dental Care

Let’s begin with the easiest and most obvious ways to get a great smile: regular dental care.

You know the drill: brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, visit your dentist every six months. You’ve probably been doing it all your life…but do you know exactly why?

Here’s what it boils down to:

Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Dark, warm, moist-a haven for microscopic organisms. Yes, I know-GROSS! Which is precisely why regular care is so important. The most persistent pest is plaque, which is that sticky, colorless bacteria that forms on the teeth and creates the toxins that can lead to periodontal disease if neglected.

Regular brushing removes the plaque, just as regular flossing will dislodge any food particles left behind by brushing. Routine visits to the dentist, which usually include a cleaning and a checkup, with remove any residual plaque buildup and ensure a clean bill of dental health.

Now while this is an easy way to stay on top of the basics, let me say right now that a lot of people never make it this far. Fear of the dentist ranks right up there with fear of public speaking, so many people take the easy way out and just don’t go.

I once worked with a woman who bragged that she hadn’t been to a dentist in forty years. Another man in that same office claimed that he’d sworn off dentists in the early 1970’s. You know what? The woman very rarely smiled and the man had the worst case of Halitosis I’ve ever encountered. Both of which could have been avoided with a little routine maintenance.

Here are some other general tips to consider in your everyday mouth care:

Change your toothbrush regularly. Spring for a new toothbrush about every three months. When you get the new one, just throw the old one away!

If you’re getting over a cold, sore throat, or some other short-term illness, immerse your toothbrush in boiling water for a few minutes to kill any lingering germs.