Losing that first tooth is an exciting rite of passage for any little one, but you can make it even more special with a gift that's all about the tooth fairy! An adorable and modern tooth fairy pillow, a beautifully designed fairy "receipt" and certificate, or a book about that special tooth-collecting, magical fairy might be an even bigger hit than that money she leaves behind. Keep clicking to check out nine of our favorite tooth fairy finds.
Holiday time is picture-taking time. And if you're looking to add a little sparkle to your smile to get camera-ready, a cool red lipstick is a great way to neutralize unwanted tones. But if you're looking for something more, sometimes a quick touch up in the teeth-whitening department is the way to go. Whether you have a month or your holiday card shoot is tomorrow, there are a variety of products that will take your smile to a brilliant white.
A healthy lifestyle means taking care of your teeth — after all, excess plaque has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, and too much icky bacteria in your mouth can lead to gum disease and cavities. But if you're an après-lunch brusher, take note: you should wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after a meal, according to a report in The New York Times.
The directive is based on a study that followed people for three weeks, looking at the impact of postmeal brushing after they drank diet soda. The researchers found that those who brushed their teeth within 20 minutes of finishing their sodas had increased loss of dentin, the tissue found underneath your teeth's enamel. That's because, researchers say, brushing too soon after an acidic meal pushes the acid further into your teeth, causing erosion of tooth enamel and dentin.
So the next time you are eating a particularly acidic or sugary meal, wait at least 30-60 minutes before you brush your teeth. In the meantime, rinse your mouth with water or a solution of eight parts water to one part baking soda to get rid of the acid in your mouth, researchers recommend. Chewing gum afterward can also help.
Do you brush your teeth immediately after meals?
While the trend of attaining 100 percent perfect teeth has perhaps waned a bit in the US, in Japan, some are choosing a more fanglike look. Dubbed "yaeba" in Japanese (or the American equivalent snaggleteeth), the style has young women heading to the dentist for crooked smiles, courtesy of plastic pieces affixed to the teeth. But why?
"The gapped tooth is sort of preorthodontic or early development, and the naturally occurring yaeba is because of delayed baby teeth or a mouth that's too small," Pace University's Dr. Emilie Zaslow told The New York Times, adding, "It's this kind of emphasis on youth and the sexualization of young girls."
We've seen stars embrace their perfectly imperfect natural choppers, such as Kirsten Dunst, who admitted to Elle UK, "I love my snaggle fangs. . . . they give me character and character is sexy." And then there is Heidi Klum, who explained that one of the reasons she liked the ad for her fragrance, Shine, is that "my snaggletooth is coming out a little bit." And whether the yaeba trend remains popular or not — despite its creepy implications — there's always another fangy fad: tooth tattooing.
Temporary decals for teeth have been around for a few years now, but leave it to the always avant-garde Japanese fashion industry to make them chic. A recent spread in Ginza magazine shows off cute tooth decals and suggests that fashionistas are matching their nail art with their tooth art, and even their nail shape to their tooth shape. Fashion-forward young women are also matching their lipstick to their tooth decals and designing whole coordinating outfits around the look, whether they're wearing a ladybug decal to a picnic or a little blue anchor to the beach.
Tooth decals from brands like ToothArt already exist here in the US, but they've just never caught on as a high-fashion item. If the haute young ladies of Tokyo have any say, however, they may well become a new thing. Given that grills have enjoyed lasting popularity on our side of the Pacific, it might not be that odd to see tooth decals become a cool accessory, too.
"Bleaching [your teeth] is probably one of the most significant changes that you can make," says Beverly Hills-based general and cosmetic dentist Dr. Arthur Glosman. "But whenever you're going to do any type of teeth whitening, it's always best to get some kind of consultation with your dentist first." However, what are the advantages of having your dentist do it as compared to doing it yourself? While both techniques can indeed work and have their advantages, see some reasons you might get better, longer-lasting results from a professional treatment when you read more.
Researchers have discovered that more than just viruses and germs can be transmitted through the mouth — cavities can be added to this list, yes . . . cavities. According to Dr. Margaret Mitchell, the cavity-causing bacteria is commonly transferred between caregivers and children because a mother will taste her child's food to see if it's too hot, therefore directly exposing her child to the germs in her saliva. Dr. Mitchell also discusses an instance where a woman had started developing cavities and gum disease after starting to date a man who had gum disease and hadn't been to a dentist in over 18 years.
Her remedy? You don't have to go cold turkey on kissing — phew — but what you do have to do is make sure you maintain your oral health by flossing and brushing regularly and chewing sugar-free gum, which helps produce more saliva and wash away bacteria.
And for all the parents out there, I suggest blowing on your child's food rather than tasting it; that way you'll decrease the amount of bacteria transferred.
In case you've already forgotten, February is National Pet Dental Health month. So somewhere between the romantic getaways and Oscar bashes you're planning this month, be sure to find time to give your pet's chompers some love! I've given you teeth-cleaning tips in the past, but if you're looking for another primer on doggie tooth brushing, you're in luck: Heidi Ganahl, founder of Camp Bow Wow, has some helpful hints. Keep reading and get brushing!
- Buy the Right Tools: The first step to brushing your dog’s teeth is finding the right dental equipment. Make sure you purchase a dog toothbrush that is angled and soft. For large breeds, stick to longer toothbrushes so you reach difficult places. A finger brush is easier to use on smaller animals. Remember to never use human toothpaste on dogs because it contains ingredients that can harm Fido’s stomach. There are many dog-friendly toothpaste options that come in fun flavors like peanut butter, beef, or chicken.
- It’s All About Timing: It’s important to approach your dog when he is relaxed and in a good mood. Don’t force contact, because the pup will rebel against you.
- Positioning: Make sure your dog is comfortable before beginning. Avoid standing above your dog in a threatening way. Instead, get on the same level and sit in front of your pet.
- Prep the Gums: Test your dog’s anxiety level and willingness to have his mouth touched. Gently rub your finger on the top row of teeth and gums. You may have to repeat this step a few times before proceeding.
Four more tips after the jump!
At 56, Christie Brinkley looks more amazing than ever. And while genetics may play a part, it seems that multitasking has really gotten her places. In an interview with Shape magazine, Christie explained that while doing everyday tasks, she tries to fit mini workouts in. "I think of drying my hair as really boring. I thought, 'OK, I'm going to multitask.' I'll dry my hair as though I'm sitting on a chair, even though there's no chair there. Then I'll do some squats," she said. When she's brushing her teeth, she'll even do a few leg exercises, too. Some of you have admitted to being beauty multitaskers yourself (as in brushing your teeth while showering), but do you think these types of activities are smart or silly?
It's a mom's job to remind her children to brush and floss, but should she also be concerned with perfecting their smiles? While teens used to be the ones sporting braces, the metal brackets are now being adhered to baby teeth! An interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal reported that kids (as young as 7 and 8) are seeing orthodontists earlier for a number of reasons. It said:
Parents' hope is that the more early treatment a child gets—that is, before all the adult teeth have come in—the less treatment the child will need later on. While that's true in some cases, what many parents don't realize is that for some of the most common orthodontic problems, early treatment offers no guarantees against a second round of treatment in the teenage years and may not save time or money.
How important is it to you that your child has a perfect smile?