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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Dental Care for Brighter Smile

Advocate Rehman's most formidable asset was his effortless, disarming smile. A very warm handshake accompanied by an equally warm million dollar smile could make anybody's day and when a tired client came to him with his case and hope, Advocate Rehman's warmth would fill him with confidence, and induce in him an inexplicable sense of well being, which probably came from Advocate Rehman's very reassuring demeanour. Advocacy is a profession in which impressions go a long way. While Rehman's smile looked reassuring to his client, in the courtroom it did the opposite. It made the opponent lawyer unsure of his own case. Often when the opponent lawyer would come to the thrust of his argument, Advocate Rehman's lips would spread in a pleasant smile, which would almost invariable unsettle the lawyer on the other side. And almost every time a rock solid argument would follow the pleasant smile.

It was very noticeable that Advocate Rehman's easy smile actually came from the immense confidence he had in himself. Another thing that almost everyone who met Advocate Rehman noticed almost immediately was his perfect set of teeth. He was often complimented on his pearly whites and many people would also go to the extent of asking the secret behind his 'perfect smile'. Advocate Rehman would put it succinctly, "Oral hygiene". And in saying that he was neither sidestepping the question, nor was he wrong.

Brushing and Over-brushing

A number of people believe that brushing is a heaven-sent remedy for all dental ills. So, if you brush twice a day, it is good and if you brush after every meal it's even better. But the truth is that while brushing twice a day is good for your teeth, brushing more often than that in a day could actually harm your teeth. In fact, over-brushing does not harm the teeth as much as it harms the gums because in their zeal to produce better teeth-whitening toothpastes, the toothpaste companies have started using strong ingredients, which can be harmful to the gums if the gums are over-exposed to those.

Not only should one use milder toothpastes, but one must also brush one's teeth gently. Brushing hard or pressing the toothbrush too hard against the gums while brushing does not result in cleaner teeth, but ends up bruising the gums. If one keeps brushing very hard for a prolonged period of time, the gums could start receding off the teeth leaving them exposed and weaker because teeth stand on the strength of the gums.

Another problem is the toothbrushes used. Toothbrushes become abrasive once the polish wears away. However, most of the people would not change the brushes as soon as the polish goes, which harms the teeth and the gums both. Therefore, it is advisable that one keeps a good, careful watch on the state of toothbrush, and as soon as it gets old enough, allow it to retire promptly. Failure to do so can make the gums recede exposing the cementum, a softer part of the tooth. This, being the much softer part of the teeth, is hurt easily and gets abraded resulting in an extremely painful experience for the person involved.

Teeth Whitening

Almost everyone craves for white teeth. And when one goes with this requirement to the dentist, the dentist uses corrosive whitening agents, which harm the enamel. It is true that your dentist would take as much care as possible to keep it light on the enamel but it is in the nature of whitening agents to corrode. Nothing much can be done about that. The alternative is to use natural whitening agents.

A combination of salt and lemon juice works well to the teeth at home. One doesn't even need to go shopping for them, as you have both of these in your kitchen. Mix some salt in lemon juice and scrub your teeth with the solution using your fingers. Do not rub hard, just do it lightly. It would rid your teeth of any excess plaque. Once a week is enough. Do not overdo it.

A combination of baking soda and water is also effective in giving your teeth some shine, particularly if you are a smoker or drink coffee a great deal. Twice a month is more than enough for this process.

Fruits like strawberries are considered to be great teeth whiteners. You can rub strawberries on your teeth or mash them up into a paste and brush your teeth with it.

Diet also affects the colour of your teeth. So, those who eat lots of raw fruits and vegetable tend to have whiter teeth, brighter smiles and fewer or no cavities. So, it is indeed a good idea to make huge salads, for it not only keeps your teeth white but also makes a nutritious non-fattening diet. Of course, snacking must be avoided as much as one could.

If you smoke, you must know that not only does smoking harm your lungs and adversely affects overall health but also stains your teeth. That's another reason why you should try giving up smoking harder.

Healthy Gums

After regular brushing and flossing the next to come for healthy gums is healthy dose of vitamins. Vitamin A is known to stimulate the gums to produce keratin, which makes the gums healthier and enables them to resist wounds and infection. Vitamin A is particularly helpful in providing protection to the gums against sores caused by bacterial infection.

Vitamin A is found in good quantity in cod liver oil, milk, egg yolks and butter head. Human body can produce Vitamin A from beta-carotene, which is found in sufficient quantity in orange and yellow vegetables including squash and carrots. It is also found in broccoli, mango and sweet potato. The production of Vitamin A by the abovementioned methods is best in those who do not have excess body fat. However, even if you have some excess fat on your body you can still avoid Vitamin A deficiency simply by eating a serving of one of the fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A mentioned above.

According to some experts Vitamin E is also vital for healthy gums. Therefore, you could eat food rich in Vitamin E like soyabean, corn, peanuts and almonds. Vitamin E in moderate quantity is sufficient to keep your gums healthy. So, eating Vitamin-E rich foods once in a while can keep your gums healthy unless you feel that your gums need some additional care, in which case you can make Vitamin-E rich foods part of your daily diet. Again, small amount of it would do. You don't need to eat them in large quantities. Bear in mind that excess of vitamins is also harmful.


Note: This is not a piece of authoritative medical opinion or advice.

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