Your smile counts

SmileThere’s a reason so much biological ingenuity goes into a smile. It’s an important part of human communication.

And whilst the number of muscles actually used in a smile (versus a frown!) is greatly debated, the fact remains it’s a complex process involving muscles, lips and teeth.

Well indirectly teeth of course.

But teeth are a particularly important part of that smiling process. Just ask anyone who feels any kind of embarassment about their teeth. Be it bad, broken, mishapen or heavily stained – if the owner isn’t content with their teeth they will tend to restrict their smile to prevent revealing them.

So the health of your teeth and gums can and do directly translate into your ability to provide a genuine smile. And that affects how you come across to other people. We can all tell a smile that is not genuine – and it makes us uncomfortable, and possible even generate subsconcious feelings of mistrust.

Which is just one more reason to look after your teeth, and even more so, your gums. It’s quite easy to avoid cavities if you have a reasonably healthy diet, clean your teeth twice a day and don’t eat or drink high sugar foods.

But caring for your gums is a little trickier. There’s all sorts of brushing, flossing, water jet spraying and mouth wash usage that goes into trying to prevent gum issues. But I’ve been recently testing something a little different. It’s a replacement for toothpaste called ‘Dental Pro 7’, that also serves the purpose of a very effective mouth wash. You can read reviews for dental pro 7 here.

It’s unusual mostly in that it’s a liquid rather than a paste, and only requires a drop or two on your toothbrush. And it leaves your entire mouth feeling surprisingly fresh and clean. In fact it’s the best toothpaste for bad breath that I’ve used to date!

The ingredients are a bit of a surprise. There isn’t anything sounding like a chemical or anti-bacterial agent. None.

All of the ingredients in this solution are natural plant extracts. But extracts that have been chosen for very specific properties such as being naturally anti-bacterial.

One of the most pleasing aspects is that it ‘sticks around’ in your mouth too because it’s naturally oil based. So it goes on protecting your teeth and gums, and as I mentioned above, keeping your breath fresh too. That’s something toothpaste doesn’t seem to achieve for very long. And as for regular old mouthwash, well, I find they simply dry out your mouth and make the problems worse in the long term.

If it’s a problem, then it’s a problem

Some people may scoff at the apparently ‘trivial’ type of things that worry some of us.

But the world is full of stress, and pressure, and what may seem only skin-deep trivial to some people can genuinely feel like a full blown trauma to someone else.

skinTake a friend of mine. She’s a beautiful girl, but like a lot of people spends too much time staring closely in a mirror to try and pick out her faults. Instead of standing back and seeing what everyone else sees.

Now apart from this she’s normally a really down to earth, together kind of person.

Except that she read in one of those womens magazines beauty columns about how someones boyfriend had commented that maybe she shouldn’t wear that t-shirt because it showed off her dark underarms…

A seemingly innocent, helpful comment? Or a strange personal preference by said boyfriend? (who cares what color your armpits are..?)

But that was it – my friend instantly became obsessed with what her boyfriend might secretly think about her underarms..! The helpful magazine writer gave tips on how to fix the ‘problem’ including talking about skin lightening creams. No, I’d never heard of these products either, but there are lots of them on the market, and they are really popular. Surprisingly, they also seem to work at whitening darker skins. But that’s another story.

The mere fact that you can buy an underarm whitening cream to lighten dark armpits to me seemed bizarre. It wouldn’t bother me what color my partners armpits were, so it definitely wouldn’t worry me if any of my friends had dark, white, grey, blue or even green armpits. So long as they were happy.

And that’s the bottom line really – my friend wasn’t happy. Once somebody had undermined her confidence in an area of herself she couldn’t just switch it off again. So she used the products and fixed her problem.

Which is how most of the beauty industry works of course. It tells you how inadequate you are, then offers you the solution. Crazy world isn’t it.

She also struggles with finding make-up as a darker skinned woman (see our make-up tips for darker skinned women here). That seems to be very strange to me too. Why aren’t all the major brands specifically targeting this major affluent market?