A healthy smile is a great asset! Our teeth play such important roles in our lives – they help us chew our food, talk and speak to others, and give our face its beautiful shape. Not only that, but our smiles give us confidence and influence our careers, social lives, relationships, and more. How do you know if your smile is healthy? Let’s take a look at the many signs, visible and invisible, of a healthy smile. 

Learn more about Eating Habits for a Healthy Smile   

Signs of a Healthy Smile

There are both visible and invisible signs that you have a healthy smile, let’s discuss.

Visible Signs of a Healthy Smile: 

  • Smooth, pink tongue: Sometimes we can have a white film on the tongue from decayed particles from food. Proper tongue cleaning can often get rid of this film. Canker sores or red patches on the tongue could indicate health problems. 
  • Firm, pink gums: White, red, or dark pink gums could indicate inflammation or gum disease.
  • Gums that aren’t recessed too low: 3 millimeters is the max amount gums should recede from the teeth. 
  • White teeth, free of excess stains: Teeth that are very yellow could indicate tooth decay.
  • An aligned bite: When the top and bottom jaw align, wear and tear is distributed evenly when chewing and biting. 

Invisible Signs of a Healthy Smile: 

  • Fresh breath: Although it’s impossible to have fresh breath all the time (especially after we wake up in the morning) but, the constant presence of bad breath, even after brushing and flossing, is often an indicator of tooth decay. 
  • Free of pain or discomfort: Pain let’s us know that something isn’t quite right. If we’re experiencing any toothaches or discomforts in the mouth, something needs to be checked out. 
  • No sensitivity: Tooth disease often manifests with tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are pain-free, then chances are they’re healthy and don’t have cavities. 
  • A moist mouth: Although the word “moist” may be uncomfortable for a lot of us to say, the truth is, a moist mouth is a healthy mouth. A mouth that is dry cannot wash away bacteria with saliva – which is our natural mouthwash. 

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10 Dental Care Tips for a Healthy Smile

With all the health advice available online now, it’s hard to know what’s actually important to your oral health and what’s not. Dr. Caye and his team at Premier Dental in Lee’s Summit, MO want to make you aware of 10 dental care tips so that you can have a healthier smile.

1. Brush Your Teeth Every Day

You’ve been told this since your very first dental visit as a child: brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing removes leftover food particles that can bond with saliva to form plaque. These particles feed the bacteria that naturally live in our mouths. Their digestive acids can eat through our tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.

2. Flossing is as Important as Brushing

Flossing is important because it removes plaque from places that your toothbrush alone can’t reach. If plaque is allowed to remain in these hard-to-reach areas, you could find yourself dealing with tooth decay or even gum disease, which research has linked to increased risk of cardiovascular problems and Alzheimer’s.

3. Stay Hydrated

Again: Keeping your body hydrated helps your mouth produce enough saliva to keep your mouth and teeth clean. Saliva naturally washes out the mouth, removing oral bacteria and the food particles that they feed upon.

4. Limit Sugar Intake, Including Sugary Drinks

The bacteria in our mouths thrive on sugar which makes sugary drinks a major contributor to tooth decay. Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet combined with regular brushing and flossing can help keep the bacteria under control.

5. Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year

Regular dental examinations are necessary to preserving your oral health. Your dentist is trained to recognize early signs of tooth decay and gum disease before they turn severe. This can help you avoid complicated and expensive dental procedures. Most exams include X-rays to inspect your teeth for decay and root stability. Learn more about Comprehensive Dentistry.

6. Maintain a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is important not just for overall health, but is important for your teeth in ways you might not expect. In addition to good nutrition provided by healthy foods that help your bones and teeth grow and stay healthy, a lot of fruits and veggies are crunchy and chewy, which promotes the production of saliva. Foods that require a lot of chewing are good for the teeth because more saliva means the mouth is naturally washed out more often.

7. Give Up Smoking

Smoking damages healthy gums, causing them to recede and develop large pockets around the teeth. This makes teeth appear longer and creates dark spaces between them. Smoking also makes it very difficult to reverse gum disease. Don’t forget, smoking causes staining to your teeth. The stain from smoke is sometimes a superficial stain that can be polished off, but it can also soak deep into the enamel.

8. Remember Your Tongue:

When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to brush over your tongue at the back of your tongue to remove foul-smelling bacterial waste that causes bad breath.

9. Don’t Chew on Hard Items

This may seem like common sense but… try not to bite down on hard candies or non-food items like pen caps or fingernails. These items aren’t designed to be chewed and can damage teeth.

10. Take Care of Your Toothbrush

Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning, but make sure it dries after each use and there is no leftover toothpaste. Store it upright and exposed to air and your toothbrush will be good to go!


Keeping a Healthy Smile

When you think of a healthy smile, you envision a mouth full of bright, white teeth free of cavities and gum disease. All the teeth are straight and smooth. You want teeth like that. If you did, you would know that your mouth has optimum health. As you know, a healthy smile often goes beyond just what we can see. That’s why it’s always important to see your dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning and exam, so your dentist can check for all the signs of a healthy mouth.

Dr. Stephan Caye and his friendly, experienced team at Premier Dental offer affordable family dentistry and invisible braces in the Lee’s Summit, MO area. Our office is conveniently located off of Highway 50 and SE Blue Parkway. We offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Premier Dental, we provide most dental health services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including tooth replacement options, such as dental implants and dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistryemergency dental care and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Please call us at (816) 600-6330 to schedule an appointment.