February is the month of love and romance, which should put a smile on your face. But if your teeth and gums aren’t looking so good, you might feel more like scowling: over time, the teeth darken and ill health may cause gums to change colour.
We use our mouths for such positive things – to eat, drink, talk and sing – and your smile is often the first thing people notice. So, what can you do to ensure a winning, healthy smile?
On top of trying the great products in stores, there are dietary steps you can take. First of all, limit snacking. The more often you eat, the more likely you are to stimulate oral fluids that can stain your teeth; if you need to satisfy hunger pangs, choose vegetables and low-sugar fruit.
Next, be aware that any drink containing sugar – including juices – will create an acidic environment detrimental to good teeth and fresh breath. Always make sure that you sip water alongside other drinks to wash the mouth free of enamel-eroding acids.
On the subject of a clean mouth, have you heard about oil swilling? Particularly beneficial in the morning, it can help relieve congestion and mucus from your nose and throat while eliminating damaging bacteria.
To swill, simply roll good-quality, unrefined oil such as coconut or extra virgin olive oil inside your mouth, in and around the teeth, for as long as you can manage. When you spit out the oil you will remove any nastiness from your mouth, remineralising the teeth and strengthening the gums. Now doesn’t that bring a smile to your face?
words by Catherine Williams, qualified fitness professional and nutrition consultant. She is also the co-founder of Pure Fitness.