In the United States, 23% of adults are embarrassed by the condition of their mouth and teeth, and 20% actually have anxiety over this.
Not only can bad teeth have an impact on your mental health, but it can also be detrimental to your physical health as well. In the end, having healthy teeth can help you in more ways than one.
But what do healthy teeth look like anyway? Read on to find out key signs of healthy teeth and what to do if they’re not in the best shape.
What Do Healthy Teeth Look Like?
Of course, every person’s teeth will look different and unique. You and a friend could both have perfectly healthy teeth but have lots of differences between them.
However, there are some key signs to look for when it comes to healthy teeth.
A Good Bite
When you bite down, are your teeth aligned? Can you chew and speak comfortably and properly? If so, then that’s great, as this is how healthy teeth should look!
In general, your teeth should have a whitish hue to them. Over time, they might get a yellowish tone, but it’s nothing too much to worry about. Superficial stains from things like coffee, soda, or wine can be removed through teeth whitening procedures.
Healthy teeth should be in one complete piece and not have chips or cracks in them. In addition, they should have a firm hold in your gums.
Pink and Firm Gums
These aren’t technically your teeth, but they’re an important part of your dental hygiene since they’re what hold your teeth in place. Healthy gums are pink and firm, and they shouldn’t hurt if you touch, brush, or floss them.
Bonus: Other Signs of Healthy Oral Hygiene
You shouldn’t look to just your teeth when it comes to good oral health. Here are some other signs that you’re in good shape!
Take a look at your tongue. It should be nice and pink, plus have a good degree of moisture.
Also, you should have neutral-smelling breath. To check it, scratch your tongue with your fingernail and then smell it. If there’s any type of odor, then you might not have the best oral health possible.
Signs of Unhealthy Teeth
Now that you know the signs of healthy teeth, you should also know how to recognize unhealthy teeth. Here are the major signs you should watch out for.
Slightly misaligned teeth shouldn’t be a problem. But if they’re so crooked that it’s messing up your bite and/or trapping bits of food, then you have an issue on your hands.
Not only can the above be painful and uncomfortable, but they can lead to dental issues such as cavities.
If your tooth is brown, gray, or even black, this can be a serious problem. Dark colors on teeth usually indicate some sort of trauma. In fact, blackish colors can indicate a dead tooth.
So even if it doesn’t hurt, a darker-colored tooth might be a sign that something’s wrong.
Chips and Cracks
Teeth that easily sustain chips and cracks are a sign that they’re weak and unhealthy. Of course, exceptions can be accidents such as running into a lamppost or sustaining an injury during sports.
However, if your teeth are chipping and cracking from regular use, that’s a red flag. If your teeth are also sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet food and drinks, that’s a bad sign as well.
Pale and Jelly-Like Gums
Many Americans don’t take good care of their gums, which can lead to pale and jelly-like gums. They might be painful to the touch and can bleed when you brush and floss.
How to Ensure You Have Healthy Teeth and Gums
The good news is, you can always turn things around if you realize that you don’t have healthy teeth. Here are some ways to improve your dental health.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Brushing and flossing regularly might sound like a pain; quite literally if you don’t have healthy gums. However, you need to push through this uncomfortable period to build up stronger gums.
Once you do, you’ll notice a world of difference in your oral health.
See the Dentist Regularly
Most people don’t know they have cavities until it’s way too late. By seeing your dentist regularly, you’ll be able to take care of those cavities before they become a real pain.
Look Into Cosmetic Dentistry
If your issue is misaligned teeth and/or bite, then you might need some cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics. There are many options out there that not only fix the aesthetics of your teeth, but also improve their strength.
For example, you can choose from treatments like dental veneers, implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures. There are also teeth-straightening options (from traditional metal braces to Invisalign) and teeth whitening treatments.
What’s great is there are kids orthodontics available too. So if you’ve noticed that your kids don’t have great teeth, you can get the professional opinion of an orthodontist to see what can be done.
Make Sure You Have Healthy Normal Teeth
Now you know the answer to the question, “what do healthy teeth look like?” In addition, you also know how to look for signs of unhealthy teeth, as well as how to maintain good oral hygiene.
With this new information, you’ll be able to take better care of not only your own teeth, but your children’s as well. So put this knowledge to good use and ensure that everyone has fantastic dental health!
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