Happy Valentine’s Day! On this romantic holiday, Livonia comprehensive care dentist Dr. James Stewart wants you to think about your smile and dental health. After all, think about how many smiles you’ll flash, how many kisses you’ll give, and how many times you’ll say “I love you” today. It’s all about your mouth, so Dr. Stewart has a few Valentine’s Day smile tips for you.
Chocolate and Your Smile
In addition to love, Valentine’s Day is all about sweet treats, but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your dental health to celebrate. Instead of indulging in sugary conversation hearts and other senseless sweets, stick to chocolate. Although you shouldn’t eat it in excess, recent research shows that chocolate may help prevent tooth decay. In addition to positively impacting brain function, cardiovascular health, diabetes control, the immune system, and other areas of bodily health, chocolate causes less tooth decay than other sweets.
A recent study from Osaka University in Japan concluded that the husk of the cocoa bean, which is the main ingredient in chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that combat the tooth decay-causing effects of dental plaque, acid, and the bacteria S. mutans. So, don’t go overboard with the chocolate today, but feel free to indulge in a piece or two without causing a dental disaster.
Tips for Soft Kissable Lips
Everyone wants soft kissable lips on Valentine’s Day, so follow these tips for a picture perfect pout:
- Exfoliate your lips with a little sugar to soften them and leave a lingering sweetness.
- Keep your lips moist, hydrated, and protected from the sun by applying lip balm or petroleum jelly throughout the day, before bed, and immediately after exfoliating.
- Relax your lip muscles to de-stress, look happier, prevent wrinkles, and make your lips look larger and more kissable.
- Frame your lips with lip liner or facial hair to conceal imperfections and make your lips stand out.
- Stop smoking to avoid the onset of “smoker’s lines,” which are fine lines and wrinkles that appear above the top lip.
- Smile to look friendlier, happier, and more welcoming. Remember to pair a genuine smile with friendly eyes and body language.
A Few More Tips for a Valentine’s Day Smile
- Brush and floss throughout the day and use a fluoridated oral rinse to keep your breath fresh. If you’re still concerned about your breath, use a tongue scraper and xylitol-enhanced or sugar-free mints or gum before your big date tonight.
- Avoid foul-smelling foods like garlic, curry, onions, and fish. Leftover food debris can work their way into your lungs and bloodstream, letting your date know what you ate earlier in the day each time you exhale.
- Drink lots of water. Not only will drinking a lot of water promote saliva flow, which cleanses your mouth of leftover food particles and bacteria, but it also will keep you hydrated and your lips kissable.
- Don’t succumb to the staining powers of coffee and red wine. To protect your pearly whites, pair these staining substances with dairy products, which coat your teeth with a layer of oil, or rinse your mouth thoroughly with water afterwards.