Your smile is one of your best assets, and influences the way others see you. Smiling plays a major role in self-expression by helping convey openness, honesty, attractiveness, personality – all things everyone could definitely use more of in our lives. For these reasons, Sarasota Smile Design has chosen to focus on how we can improve people’s appearance by giving them the perfect smile.

It’s not too late to make sure your pearly whites look their best for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Here are eight of our top tips for getting the perfect smile for all those romantic selfies you’ll be taking.

1. Don’t forget to floss.
Of course, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for good oral hygiene. But brushing only gets about half the job done. You may not realize the amount of stains and bacteria that accumulate daily between your teeth. There’s nothing like good old-fashioned dental floss for getting into the tight spaces where some of the worst bacteria lurk. No matter how thoroughly you think you brush, or how high-tech your toothbrush is, you still need to floss daily to keep your smile looking healthy and beautiful.

2. Getting regular dental cleanings is key to overall health.
We all know seeing your dentist at least twice a year can give you a whiter smile and a healthier mouth, but did you know it could also help save your life? Researchers have found people with gum disease are almost two times as likely to have heart disease. The diseases are linked by the same bacteria, which break down the barrier between the gums and the underlying connective tissue, causing inflammation. During normal chewing or brushing, bacteria from infected gums can enter your circulatory system, which leads to the formation of arterial plaque.

3. Discreetly correct common dental imperfections.
Modern dentistry offers numerous ways to fix teeth. If your teeth are discolored, misaligned or unevenly spaced, you may be a good candidate for dental veneers. A veneer is a thin, custom-made shell – usually made of porcelain – that fits over your natural tooth, covering the visible surface to create a more beautiful smile. Dental veneers are increasingly popular in cosmetic dentistry because they quickly and painlessly rejuvenate your smile within just a few office visits. No matter how flawed your teeth are, veneers can permanently solve your problems and give you a bright, polished and evenly spaced smile.

4. Rinse with mouthwash.
Mouthwash does more than freshen up your breath and leave your mouth feeling clean and healthy. It also protects your teeth and gums by killing bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Rinse at least once a day for 30 to 60 seconds for that “just-visited-my-dentist” feeling.

5. Mind the gap.
Are you self-conscious about gaps in your smile due to missing teeth? Tooth loss is more common than you might realize. Accidents, gum disease and severe tooth decay are just a few of the reasons for missing teeth. Missing teeth don’t just affect your appearance – they also have effects on your gums and jawbone. If you have missing teeth, dental implants are one of your best solutions. A dental implant essentially creates a whole new tooth root that supports an artificial tooth. Made of titanium, the implant is surgically inserted right into your jaw, so it fuses with your jawbone as healing occurs. Dental implants don’t have any negative effects on existing teeth, and as long as you take good care of yours, it can last many decades.

6. Stop grinding your teeth.
Do you ever wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? You could be unconsciously grinding your teeth in your sleep. Grinding your teeth, a habit also called bruxism, adversely affects your teeth by wearing them down, which may eventually lead to fracturing or loss of teeth. Stress, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, smoking and alcohol and caffeine use are all possible causes of teeth grinding. The most frequently prescribed way to protect your teeth from grinding is to wear a specially fitted guard over your teeth at night. If you would like to stop clenching and grinding your teeth, ask your dentist to evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan.

7. Get a brighter white.
Over time, our teeth collect stains due to what we eat and drink. Dark foods such as blueberries, tomato sauce and soy sauce can leave their mark on our teeth, as can coffee, tea, red wine and cola. You can remove some of these types of stains at home with whitening toothpastes, strips or gels. However, to see the most dramatic improvements in a minimal amount of time, professional whitening is your best choice. Your dentist will custom-fit you with trays that contain a bleaching agent. Once stimulated by a special light, these bleaching trays can completely eradicate stains and brighten your smile by several shades, in as little as one appointment.

8. Choose a smile makeover.
For people with crooked, chipped, stained, asymmetrical or cracked teeth, a smile makeover is often the best solution. A smile makeover refers to a combination of cosmetic dentistry procedures, which may include things like veneers, crowns, whitening and gum contouring. Every smile makeover is unique, depending on the condition and position of each patient’s teeth and gums, face shape, age, sex, personality and the results they hope to achieve. No matter what your complaints are about your smile, we can help you improve your appearance and boost your self-esteem.

Your Sarasota Smile Specialist
As one of the leading dental professionals in Sarasota, Florida, Dr. Jenifer C. Back relies on her 23 years of experience, as well as cutting-edge software and technology, to craft the perfect smile for each patient. She takes pride in her attention to detail and ability to take each person’s unique needs into account to give every patient the dazzling smile they deserve. If you’re ready to improve your smile today, contact our office to schedule your complimentary consultation.