Next to eyes, the mouth is thought to be the most attractive part of the body. When smiles are bright and lips are soft and supple, they can truly dazzle.
Here are some tips to keep your mouth healthy and beautiful.
1. Apply lip balm. Saliva dries out your lips and makes them rough and cracked. Instead of licking them, applying lip balm on a regular basis. Look for hydrating ingredients like beeswax, Shea butter, vitamin E and almond, jojoba or coconut oils. Vaseline works well too.
2. Exfoliate. Keep your lips soft and supple; brush them every time you brush your teeth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mixture of rosewater and sugar, gently scrub your lips to slough off dead skin. Lipstick and gloss will apply much more evenly for a spectacular smile.
3. Choose the right shade of lipstick. The best way to select the right color lipstick is to try it on when wearing no other makeup. This will help you pick a color that is right for your skin tone. Selecting a lipstick with blue undertones will make your teeth look whiter.
4. Plump up. To get a pretty pout, use a lip liner one shade darker than your lipstick, or the natural color of your lips – depending on the desired effect. Apply liner just outside the lip line. Dab a bit of gloss in the center of the bottom lip for a super pouty look.
5. Soften lips. To soften your lips and prevent them from drying, apply almond oil onto the lips daily. Regular applications of honey will also soften dry lips.
6. Keep cold sores at bay. Cold sores seem to attack when the body is already vulnerable. Protect your lips with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. In the winter, use medicated lip balm such as Carmex or Blistex. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and try to reduce stress. If a cold sore appears, apply a lemon balm ointment to speed healing.
7. Stay hydrated. Always keep a bottle of water on hand to stay properly hydrated. The skin on our lips is very thin and will therefore dry out quickly, leaving them cracked and sore. Dry, chapped lips can often times be avoided simply by staying hydrated.
8. Get essential vitamins. Foods high in calcium and vitamin D are an important for maintaining healthy teeth. Vitamin A is essential for the protection of the tooth enamel. A deficiency in Vitamin A can also cause overgrown gums, bleeding gums and gum disease.
9. Brush and floss. While most likely already a habit, brushing and flossing after every meal and snack will keep teeth healthy, white and free of decay causing debris. Don’t be afraid to take a toothbrush and paste to work with you for a quick brush after lunch.
10. Protect your teeth by sipping with a straw. Sodas, sports drinks, and juices contain acids that can erode dental enamel. Sipping acidic drinks with a straw positioned toward the back of your mouth limits the acidic liquids contact with your teeth and helps preserve the enamel.
With a little loving care, you can have a healthy, beautiful smile.
Photo credit: Meyye