The power of a beautiful smile
A beautiful smile is great but good oral care offers so much more than just a grin.
This month is Oral Health Awareness Month, and we all know that there is nothing more striking than a healthy, white smile. Who can forget Julia Robert’s radiant smile in the 1990 flick Pretty Woman? And who can do anything but melt when McDreamy flashes a smile in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. But why does a smile have such a positive effect on us?
“When someone smiles genuinely, people automatically instil that person with more endearing qualities, such as being more trustworthy, intelligent, self confident and sociable,” explains Dr. Sumayya Ebrahim, a Johannesburg-based counselling psychologist.
She says that our smiles are significantly linked to our sense of who we are. “Our smiles affect us psychologically by boosting our confidence and sense of well being. With a healthy smile our whole sense of self is improved. People then respond positively to this. Smiling also impacts us physically. For example, smiling is known to increase our levels of serotonin and endorphins (the feel-good hormones) which in turn reduces stress, boosts the immune system and lowers blood pressure,” she added.
We may not all be blessed with Julia Robert’s pearly whites, but there is a lot you can do to ensure your teeth stay beautiful and more importantly healthy.
According to research conducted by Oral-B most people don’t brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes twice a day. They also found that many people apply too much pressure and aren’t thorough enough in their technique.
Your best option? Switch to a power toothbrush. “They really help people to brush for the correct amount of time, covering all areas of the mouth equally with the right amount of pressure. Power brushes also remove more plaque. They also help prevent the build-up of tartar, plaque, cavities and gum problems,” prescribes Johannesburg dentist Dr Hoosen.
Brushing your teeth correctly is about so much more a bright white smile. “It’s about reducing the incidence of plaque retention, tooth decay and periodontal disease, all of which pose risks to your general health. In fact, recent research suggests that those with periodontal disease are two times more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those not afflicted by this condition,” explains Hoosen. This is because oral bacteria can circulate through the blood stream causing damage to the inside lining of blood vessels, promoting the development of clots which can lead to a heart attack.