All the floss that's fit to print...

Every so often, a patient will ask me about the “secret” to a healthy-feeling and looking smile makeover. You know, something to keep those pearly whites pearly!

The one true secret is…preventative care (coupled with some cosmetic touch-ups). Here are some steps that you can follow to keep your teeth and gums healthy and beautiful:

1) Get your teeth cleaned routinely! Frequent cleanings will keep your smile brighter, and will also help reduce plaque and tarter build-up which will make it easier for you to remove plaque buildup yourself before it has an opportunity to calcify. Less plaque and tarter also means less chance for bad breath. Remember…your teeth and gums can never be too clean!

2) Brush and floss often, especially after meals. This is particularly important to do after drinking coffee, tea, red wine or any other staining or sugary food. And if you don’t happen to have a toothbrush handy, make sure to swish some water around.

3) If you are a good candidate (as determined by your dentist), get an occasional, in-office Teeth Whitening. In addition to immediate results, the procedure will reinforce the importance of steps 1 and 2.

4) Straight Teeth: not only do they make for a beautiful smile, but they also assist with oral hygiene. Crowded and misaligned teeth are more susceptible to plaque, tarter build up and staining in between the teeth. Since it’s harder to floss between teeth, food tends to get stuck more often in between teeth that have too little, or too much space in between them. Although traditional braces can help, depending on your specific situation, you may want to consider Invisalign clear aligners, Porcelain Veneers or Crowns for your perfect smile makeover.