The weather is turning cool, Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations have been put away and you're starting to plan for the New Year–indeed, it’s that time of year when it seems like you blink and the holidays are in full swing.
From pumpkin carving to New Year's toasting, there's no denying that the holidays are a blast. The one potential downside? All that prep, celebrating, and up close and personal time with friends and family can leave you with less time than normal for your oral health routine…not ideal for a time of year when you want to look and feel your best.
So how can you keep your smile as bright as those holiday lights all season long? Start with a simple smile makeover now!
In this article, we're going to talk about:
- The top 3 things that can dull your shine during the holidays.
- Why the answer to an amazing smile isn't more brushing, flossing, or mouthwash.
- 7 super simple tips for giving your smile a healthy makeover.
The Top 3 Reasons Your Smile Loses Its Sparkle
Your smile says a lot about how you’re feeling, but if you’re not confident about your grin, you may be smiling less—and sending the wrong impression! Here are three reasons your smile may be looking (and feeling) less than its best:
That "I've brushed but still don't feel clean" feeling
Ever had one of those days where it feels like your mouth is just...stale? Maybe you've brushed (and brushed again), but still feel like you need to pop a mint? It turns out that how clean your mouth feels comes down to your oral bacteria.
Before you run for the mouthwash, hear us out. Your mouth contains up to 700 different species of bacteria, the majority of which are beneficial not only for your oral health, but for your overall wellness. All those bacteria form an ecosystem called your oral microbiome.
But when the balance of good bacteria to bad gets out of whack and undesirable bacteria start to take over, things can go downhill fast. That's when you get things like bad breath and big dental bills. Plus, unwanted bacteria in your mouth can actually get into your bloodstream and affect the rest of your body, from your heart health to your memory!
Several things can cause these microbial changes, including exposure to antibiotics in food or medication, harsh cleansers, and pollution. Another factor that really amps up the bad guys is eating a lot of sugar or drinking alcohol—both of which are common during the holidays and are key contributors to another really common issue...
Sometimes bad breath is the result of nothing more than one too many garlic knots. But when it comes to excessive or stubborn smells, you're probably looking at a bacterial imbalance. Unfortunately, the most common fix––going to town with the toothpaste and mouthwash––just exacerbates the problem. You see, many dental health products are made with ingredients that do a number on your beneficial bacteria. This sets you up for an ugly cycle in which you have bad breath, then try to fix it with oral health products that just make things worse.
There's nothing quite like looking at pictures of yourself and noticing how much closer your teeth are to the yellow star on top of the tree than the snowflake ornaments on its branches. But before you reach for the whitening strips, you should know that many of the chemicals or abrasives in whitening products are bad for your microbiome and can damage your enamel, leaving your teeth softer, weaker, and more prone to damage.
So how can you keep these Grinches from dulling your grin?
7 Ways to Give your Smile a Healthy Makeover
Try these super simple steps for an all-natural smile makeover:
Think of wheatgrass as nature's mouthwash. It's chock full of enzymes and vitamins that are good for your oral health, and it reduces the number of S. mutans, an undesirable type of bacteria that causes tooth and gum issues.2 Try swishing a Sari Foods Organic Wheatgrass shot as part of your morning routine; your teeth will love you for it.
This ancient Ayurvedic technique for cleaning your teeth and gums has recently picked up some scientific backing. Studies show that oil pulling––basically swishing oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes a day––leads to a reduction in the types of bacteria that cause oral health problems.3 (If the thought of oil icks you out, you can also try wheatgrass pulling instead!)
If you’re looking for the best way to support your oral microbiome, go straight to the source with a premium oral probiotic like Hyperbiotics PRO-Dental. With two targeted strains of S. salivarius that have been clinically shown to loosen sticky biofilm and crowd out undesirable bacteria, zinc for strong teeth and gums, and two Lactobacillus strains to repopulate your microbiome with beneficial bacteria, PRO-Dental is the perfect complement to your natural oral health regimen.
Have you ever noticed blood in your mouth (or in the sink) after flossing? It turns out that those synthetic fibers aren't great for your gums, so try a softer, more effective floss like Cocofloss instead. Textured and with more surface area than traditional floss, it gives you the effect of scrubbing your teeth with a loofah rather than scraping your gums with harsh plastic. Cocofloss is also coated with bacteria-busting coconut oil for a super clean flossing experience.
Vitamin C is one of the key nutrients for oral health: it not only helps your body absorb the calcium needed for strong teeth, it's also a key player in immunity, keeping your gums strong and your mouth (and by extension, the rest of your body) well-protected. Sari Foods Natural Vitamin C Powder from Organic Acerola Cherries is a fantastic source of vitamin C complex, designed specifically for easy absorption.4
Instead of exacerbating any breath issues you might have with sugar-filled mints, thereby throwing your microbiome out of balance, try xylitol mints instead. While xylitol is sweet—which makes it attractive to unwanted bacteria—its molecular structure is different, and the bacteria that eat it starve to death, leaving you with fresher breath and a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria.
Whitening toothpastes and strips often contain ingredients that are too harsh for your enamel, damaging it as they whiten it. But that doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice your pearly whites or face grey days! Hyperbiotics Activated Charcoal Probiotic Toothpaste gently, but effectively, whitens your teeth with organic activated charcoal powder so you can get that beautiful, fresh look without hurting your enamel. What's more, it also contains a strain of L. paracasei that's been clinically shown to help rebalance your microbiome, along with organic coconut oil and xylitol to promote a healthy balance of mouth flora, while reducing the number of problematic, odor-causing bacteria.
Which tip are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments below!
Here’s to peace, love, and big, beautiful smiles this holiday season!
- Kilian, M., Chapple, I.C.L., Hannig, M., Marsh, P.D. . . . Zaura, E. (2016). The Oral Microbiome – An Update for Oral Healthcare Professionals. British Dental Journal, 221. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.2016.865
- Rajpurohit, L., Mehta, N., Ankola, A.V., Gadiyar, A. (2015). Evaluation of the Anti-Microbial Activity of Various Concentration of Wheat Grass (Triticum Aestivum) Extract Against Gram-positive Bacteria: An In Vitro Study. Journal of Dental Research and Review, 2(2). doi: 10.4103/2348-2915.161204
- Asokan, S., Emmadi, P., Chamundeswari, R. (2009). Effect of Oil Pulling on Plaque Induced Gingivitis: A Randomized, Controlled, Triple-blind Study. Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, 20(1).
- Rubinoff A.B., Latner, P.A., Pasut, L.A. (1989). Vitamin C and Oral Health. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 55(9).