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Healthy teeth make a healthy you

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By Amy McRee, NEWS 9

The perfect smile is a whole lot easier to get these days, and with so many new techniques, a dentist can have your teeth in shape in no time. But, the benefits of a healthy smile really go beyond looks.

Nothing can build your confidence like flashing a good smile, but more importantly, did you know your overall physical health is linked to it? Well, I found some great ways to get some quick fixes to common problems.

A search on the Web led me to an interesting article on shape.com. It talks about how studies link unhealthy gums and teeth to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis among other things. It offers these fixes first:

If you find yourself needing braces all over again opt for porcelain veneers which bond to your teeth. Or, try Invisaline braces, custom molded plastic trays that guide teeth into place.

Second, when you get a shooting pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold, try a softer toothbrush and desensitizing toothpastes. If that doesn't work, get a fluoride treatment or have your dentist check for a dying nerve or broken tooth.

Third, if you have yellow teeth, whitening toothpastes work. The article recommends Mentadent Advanced Whitening Fluoride toothpaste or Colgate Luminous. Or, use in-home or professional whitening treatments which can brighten three to 12 shades.

Fourth, for gums that bleed, you need to make sure you brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for a good cleaning. Most cases can be fixed in two weeks.

Fifth and finally, for bad breath, use a tongue scraper, not a toothbrush, to get rid of bacteria. You can also use mouthwashes with zinc compound. And, make note that often times bad breath is linked to stomach or sinus problems. So, you may want to talk to your doctor to find the source if that's a problem for you.

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