Sunday, August 8, 2010

Put a Smile On Your Face

Magnet # 313:  Happy Tooth Advertisement

Material:  Plastic

Purchased By: N/A - given to me, free

The second week of August is known as National Smile Week, so I thought I'd post this cheerful magnet to kick it off. As the saying goes, smiling is infectious, so this is a great time to start sharing your smile with others. Regardless of whether you come across friends or strangers this week, flashing them your pearly whites can help brighten their day and you'll likely get a grin in return. Sure, you might run across a curmudgeon every so often, but I think you'll find more people will be receptive to your friendly gesture. There are also some smile-related activities you can join in, such as having a contest with friends and family to see who can grin the longest. Or you can send them a funny ecard to encourage a laugh. If you have younger kids, you can help them make a mask with a smile or draw a picture with lots of happy, beaming figures in it. And if you haven't watched one of your favorite comedies that makes you laugh out loud in awhile, this might be a great time to pull it out for another viewing.

National Smile Week is not only a great time to show off your grin, it's also an important reminder to take some steps to continue to keep it healthy, if you need to. I know personally how nerve-wracking it can be to go for years without a dentist - it happened to me when I moved to Savannah. I just couldn't figure out which one to see and after awhile, I was sure that if I did go the dentist, I'd find out I had a mouth full of cavities. Finally, I scheduled an appointment with a dentist that a friend of mine worked for. Before the dreaded day, I agonized, imagining that I had tons of cavities, but when I had my x-rays taken and my teeth inspected, it turned out everything was fine with my mouth. I had been worried over nothing! Okay, that might not happen for everyone who has been dodging the dentist for years now, but if you're among them, you might want to consider trying out one in your area. You'll get peace of mind by going and if you do have any dental problems, at least this way they won't get worse. Sure, tooth decay is bad, but I think gum disease is even worse - while there are all sorts of replacement teeth and veneers you can get, there is no way to replace your gums when they erode away. So take the initiative and see a specialist about your dental health. And if you have a dentist that you haven't seen in awhile or just don't care for, this is also a great opportunity to schedule an appointment or look for a better practitioner. Also, don't forget to take care of your mouth at home by brushing and flossing daily - it's easy to become lazy in that area, and I know I'm guilty.

Our smiles are one of the features we're the most proud of and it's sad to see people who don't smile as much because they're ashamed of their teeth. I hope they can manage to get some help so that they can be more pleased with their mouths. I realize I'm very fortunate to have a nice set of teeth, with only one filling, and plenty of dental professionals have commented on how attractive they are. I think I owe a lot of that to my parents paying for me to have braces when I was a teenager. And I still have to wear my retainer to keep my teeth in place, but it's worth it. All in all, I have no excuse not to smile. And I hope you don't either! There's an old saying that it only takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown. While I'm not sure if that's true, I know arranging my face in a grin feels better than a frown. Plus, smile lines look much better than frown lines. So show off your smile this week and spread the happiness, one passerby at a time!

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