Smile is the best make up everyone can wear
Gun kill, wind chill, smile always heal
There is nothing more magically soothing and therapeutic than beautifying ourselves. I see this as a lifelong goal and definitely one of my passions worth pursuing, as long as don’t overly obsess over it. You might have heard of a saying which goes “ The best make up is what you wear from ear to ear ”. I personally could not agree more. An authentic and genuine smile does more than elevate your mood. It increases your confidence, enhances charisma, creates a good aura and also attracts good people to you. I guess this explains one of the superstitions in the Chinese culture, where we constantly believe in smiling often to bring us good luck. So yes…. I am here to share a couple of regime tips on shaping up the best curve of your own. Let’s start with the fundamentals which I always refer to as the 3,2,1 technique.
3 simple steps : Floss, Brush and Spit but not rinse
2 times a day
1 regular check up every 6 months
Step 1: Flossing
Despite knowing the benefits of flossing, many still constantly avoid flossing. And I totally get it, when I was first introduced to floss in dental school, I felt it was more tiring and scary than trying to ride a bike. But trust me, you will soon realize that they are similar whereby, once you get it , every step will just flows naturally. I can now literally floss with both of my eye closed and still do a pretty decent job.
For a lot of us, bleeding is the huge road block on the path adapting to flossing. It might seems logical that if flossing provoke bleeding, the best thing to do is to avoid it. However this is a misconception. The science behind of it is, gum bleeds due to gum inflammation. Swelling, redness and bleeding are some of the signs. If the gum inflammation is mild, the bleeding will stop after few rounds of flossing. This is simply because once the source of inflammation is removed, the gum healed and it goes back to health.
To depict a clearer view , we can take our face as an example. When our facial pores are being obstruct with foreign object such as dust, our skin might react with redness or even produce a pimple. The is just how our body mechanism works. In order to protect ourselves, inflamation mode is turned on when foreign body is detected. The moment the foreign body is removed or the pimple is poped, it might or might not bleed but soon our skin will be healed. It’s the same theory when it comes to the gum. So fear not, and continue to practice with the habit of flossing.
Still planning to give up on flossing?
As a dentist I can assure you everyone should be able to floss most of your teeth. Yet, there might be exceptions with certain dental work such as braces, flossing can become almost impossible. However not being able to floss doesn’t means that food particles just automatically restrain themselves towards those area.
In this scenario, water flosser might be a good alternative. This appliance is basically a mini firefighter hose nozzle. After filling in the water, aim the tip along the gum line and slowly move from the back teeth to the front. Later repeat again having the tip facing the inner side of your teeth. Most people will close their mouth partially so the water will flow into the sink but the way I prefer is to just close my mouth tight and spit it all once when my mouth is full. I find it less messy this way.
Even though the manufacturing company claims that water flosser can clear much more efficiently than a regular string floss but sometimes a water flosser may not do the job if something really stuck between your teeth.
This also bring us to the golden question : “Which is better?”
Well as a professional, I always tell my patient “Whichever one you are more likely to use everyday.” Personally I don’t believe that water flosser is a substitute of regular floss but why choose one when you can do both?
Step 2 : Brushing
When it some to brushing technique , there are a couple of schools of taught. Each of the technique have their own strength and weakness and everyone can adapt to their own technique as long as all tooth surface is clean. Personally I find myself getting very comfortable with the Modified Bass Technique pretty well and here is how I do it.
Another key point when it comes to brushing is use only soft bristle, not hard nor medium. Anything other than soft bristle is damaging for our gum and teeth. Gum recession and tooth wear lesion (which is known as abrasion cavity) are commonly seen in those who brushes with hard toothbrush.
Step 3: Spit but not rinse
So here come the interesting and controversial part. It might sounds natural to rinse our mouth after brushing. I mean, isn't that what we have been doing since young ? Literally no one has a second thought when it comes to this. It can even be recognised as a voluntary action we do right after brushing.
But have it ever crossed your mind that you actually don't have to rinse?
Lately , there has been a shift of paradigm where by it seems spitting after brushing instead of rinsing might bring more good. Rinsing after brushing washes away the protective fluoride left behind. Therefore United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) has recommended “ Spit but not rinse”
This might sounds insane and super weird but I actually buy their argument. I am still not getting used to not rinsing but reduce the numbers of rinse might be a good point to start.
In short here is my routine : string floss -> water flosser -> brushing -> rinse only once
Bring the game to the next level - Whitening
One of the best way to elevate your smile is by whitening your teeth. There are various product on the market which claim to be able to brighten our teeth and often I have been ask to recommend any good whitening toothpaste. But the truth is, I am not a big fan of whitening toothpaste. One of the few reasons is the result are very unpredictable. In order to whiten the teeth, a certain amount of contact time will be needed for the chemical and our teeth surface. The short 2 minute brushing time is not sufficient in my opinion. Secondly, some whitening toothpaste contain too much or too large abrasive particles which is able to bring a significant result but in long run it might potentially permanently wear off or thiner the tooth surface.
Therefore the better option for whitening might be a in office whitening or a home kit prescribe by a dental clinic. It is always best to consult a dentist before starting any whitening treatment because there are certain circumstances where whitening might not work. Some of the examples including crown or filling done on front teeth, root canal treated discolored tooth , or intrinsic stains cause by antibiotic.
Last but not least , confidence is the key
To be honest, there were a period of time where I was drowning myself with much doubt. I was constantly hiding, not willing to make my smile seen in meeting or gatherings. But as I explored deeper I discovered that all I did was wrapping myself with own imaginary thoughts and worries.
Over the years, I have fight actively to breath the mentality and learn that confidence roots me and defines who I am. I have learned to accept my weakness, understanding looks won’t change my self-worth and also my potential. My mindset and attitude are the one that shapes me. I hope my sharing will be infomative and perhaps inspire others to polish up their smile and face the challenges ahead with a smile.
Remember smile is everyone’s best curve and there is no smile ain’t contagious.