Keep smiling this Valentine’s Day

January 29th, 2018

With Christmas beginning to seem like a distant memory, thoughts are starting to turn to the Spring, and all that it brings. One of the early markers that Spring is on it’s way is St. Valentine’s Day. The shops are rapidly filling with pink and red cards, and heart shaped chocolates are spilling from the shelves. However, in today’s article we’d like to think about how important a simple smile, and good oral hygiene, can be in having a happy Valentine’s Day.

In 2015, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, the Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, spoke of how influential a smile can be. He noted that smiling can have a key positive effect on relationships, demonstrating our confidence, as well as making us seem more endearing to others. Charles Darwin declared that smiling is universal: across the world everyone understands what a smile means, which is different to other non-verbal behaviour which is sometimes interpreted in different ways. Smiles are also said to be the first thing that new people notice about us: introducing ourselves with a smile can certainly have a big impact on that first impression.

However, our smile can also tell others lots about us, and so we need to be aware of how we might be presenting ourselves. Teeth that are sparkling and healthy looking indicate that we take good care of ourselves and our hygiene in general, as well as of our oral hygiene. For example, it can be possible to tell whether someone is a smoker, whether they consume a lot of alcoholic drinks, or what their eating habits might be, all from noticing their teeth. Therefore, in meeting a potential new partner, our teeth can hold a lot of information about whether we have habits that might be compatible with one another’s.

In 2015 the Oral Health Foundation also carried out a survey to find out what were the biggest turn-offs, from the perspective of the British public, when it came to oral health. The ultimate no-no was ‘food being stuck between teeth’, with 40% of survey respondents reporting that this would put them off. Bad breath, discoloured or stained teeth, and not keeping up a regular twice a day teeth-brushing routine were also described as faux-pas.

In light of these findings, we thought we’d share some tips about how to keep your oral hygiene top notch, and how to maintain your smile, so that you’ll feel confident in showing your teeth this Valentine’s Day.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, every day.
  • On at least one of these daily occasions, use an interdental brush or floss to reach the areas between your teeth.
  • Change your tooth brush regularly: every three months is a good guide.
  • Ensure you visit your dentist regularly, in line with their recommendations.
  • Reduce the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume.
  • Consult your dentist in the event you notice any changes in your mouth, of have any concerns about your oral hygiene.
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