It’s quite common for people to say that they want good teeth, or to compliment someone else for having a nice smile. But what does it actually mean to have good teeth, and is it attainable for the average person? We dive into what having good teeth really means by busting some myths and righting some wrongs:
White teeth aren’t necessarily healthier than slightly yellow teeth
We commonly perceive white teeth as being desirable, attractive and healthy. While it makes sense to prefer pearly whites, a white smile isn’t necessarily healthier than naturally yellow teeth. If your teeth are slightly yellow due to consuming wine, tea or other teeth-staining food and drinks, it doesn’t mean that they’re any worse than a chemically whitened smile. By the same token, someone with a dazzling white smile could still be suffering from cavities or infections. Instead of using the shade of your teeth as an indication of their health, it’s best to visit your dentist to find out what’s really going on with your teeth.
Straight teeth are usually better for you
One aesthetic preference that does actually correlate to the health of your teeth is their straightness. With a straighter smile, you’ll avoid getting food stuck between your teeth, which in turn prevents cavities. A great deal of gum problems can also be attributed to crowded, crooked or widely spaced teeth. Developing a straighter smile can therefore help your gums sit around your teeth correctly, protecting your teeth and your gums from future damage.
Tooth sensitivity isn’t always a benign problem
Sensitive teeth are often portrayed as a benign issue that the right toothpaste can soothe. Sometimes, however, sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages can actually indicate that a cavity is forming. A good way of distinguishing whether you’ve just got naturally sensitive teeth or whether a greater issue is forming is the duration of your sensitivity. If you feel sensitive for a moment, right after biting into your ice cream, it’s probably nothing to worry about. If, however, your sensitivity to the cold or the heat continues, there could be an underlying issue that is worth resolving.
A great bite contributes to having a good smile
While we often think of colour and straightness as indicators of a great smile, we don’t always consider the bite. In reality, your bite actually has a lot to do with having a healthy smile. Dentists and orthodontists will have a look at your bite from different angles to determine whether your teeth are healthy. From the front, your front teeth should be parallel to your lower lip when you smile, and half or two-thirds of your bottom teeth should be visible when you close your bite. The arch view should feature a nice curve, with the teeth touching lightly without any spaces or overlapping. Finally, the top front teeth should be resting gently in front of the bottom teeth when seen from a side view, without jutting out too far. With the right alignment, your oral and overall health will improve greatly.
Having good teeth isn’t just about their whiteness and straightness. By visiting your dentist regularly, you can make sure to keep your teeth not only looking great, but also feeling and functioning amazingly.