Diseases caused by lack of proper oral hygiene can not only change the way you look, they can also cause health problems like heart disease, stroke, memory loss, impotence and wrinkles of the skin, Dr. Roizen says. Dr. Oz, Dr. Roizen and Dr. Perry share advice on what you can do to protect your teeth and keep your mouth beautiful and healthy:
- Brush your teeth twice a day: Spend a full two minutes brushing your teeth, with the brush angled into the gums, Dr. Roizen says.
- Floss once a day: If you don't floss, you miss cleaning about 40 percent of each tooth, which can lead to tooth decay, Dr. Roizen says.
- Whiten teeth naturally: If you whiten your teeth with at-home products, Dr. Perry says you should talk with your dentist because you can damage tooth enamel by overbleaching teeth. Apples and celery help whiten your teeth naturally, and Dr. Roizen says vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and lettuce create a film over your teeth that also help prevent staining.
- Fight bad breath: A lot of people have bad breath and don't know it because Dr. Oz says it is difficult to smell your own breath. "Breathe into the face of someone you trust and ask, 'Is my breath acceptable to you?'" Dr. Oz says. If your breath is bad, use a tongue scraper to remove some of the bacteria that causes the smell and talk with your dentist about other remedies.
- Stop grinding your teeth: Talk to your dentist about wearing a mouth guard at night if you grind your teeth, Dr. Oz says. Grinding your teeth can be a sign of stress, and if you continue doing it, you can wear down your teeth and actually widen your face, Dr. Perry says. "The [muscle under the jaw] enlarges when we grind our teeth and when we go to sleep at night,” he says.
- Protect your lips: Dr. Perry suggests wearing a lip balm or lip gloss made with sunscreen year-round. Lips can get sunburned in the winter just as easily as in the summer, and that can lead to skin cancer, he says. Also, Dr. Perry says you should choose a lip gloss or balm made with beeswax.