How To Make Your Smile Shine

How To Make Your Smile Shine

Everybody wants to have a better smile, but few people go further in achieving it than brushing their teeth twice a day (and many don’t do even that!)

So what should you do to never be ashamed of your teeth? Let’s take a look.


1. Brush Your Teeth Correctly

Most people brush their teeth, but most do it without paying any attention to proper technique. Here are a few tips that will help you improve:

  • You should spend no less that two minutes brushing your teeth every time you do it;
  • Brush should be held at a 45-degree angle to your teeth;
  • Don’t press the brush against your teeth too vigorously – you may damage your gums or dental enamel;
  • Don’t brush less than half an hour after your last meal – otherwise the acid that forms in your mouth after you eat, accompanied by the pressure of your brush will harm your enamel.

2. Invest in a Mouth Guard

Grinding teeth at night may not seem like that serious a problem, but the majority of doctors seem to disagree – although it tends to remain out of society’s spotlight most of the time. According to studies, about ten percent of all Americans grind their teeth at night – and in addition to painful jaws during the day and regular headaches it may lead to far more serious results, ranging from damage to dental enamel to loosening and even loss of teeth. To prevent this from happening, consider buying a mouth guard for teeth grinding – it will alleviate the immediate negative effects and prevent further damage.


3. Use Dental Floss

Brushing may be good for general maintenance, but it doesn’t remove all the particles of food that accumulate between your teeth – and floss can help you about that. However, you should understand that being more mechanical in its application, floss has more potential to cause harm in case of improper use, which means that you should be very careful when choosing dental floss suitable for your teeth and using it – otherwise you may cause serious damage to your gums and teeth.

4. Visit Your Dentist for Regular Check-ups

Usually dentists suggest that you should visit them as often as every six months; however, it may be a bit of overdoing it. In most cases going for a routine check at least once a year is more than enough; however, if you have visible problems with tooth decay, stains or sore gums, you should do it more often. Yet don’t be nonchalant enough to think that if you don’t have any obvious complaints it means that you can omit your checkup altogether – regular visits to a dentist can not only help you keep your smile beautiful, but also help prevent much more serious problems than stained teeth – such as gum disease and oral cancer.


5. Choose a Toothbrush That Is Right for You

There are so many different toothbrushes on the market that one can easily get overwhelmed. However, choosing a brush that will suit you isn’t really all that difficult – although there are hardly any recommendations that are set in stone for everyone. In most cases, you should simply try out a number of brushes and see which one feels more comfortable. Also make sure its head is small enough to reach all of the surfaces of your teeth, especially the ones that are less accessible.

Keeping your smile shiny and beautiful is a complicated process involving many different aspects; however, if you are really concerned with how you look, you shouldn’t omit following all of these practices – and rest assured that it will not only keep your teeth white, but healthy as well.


Featured photo credit: Smile.2/Lê Kiều Ank via

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Melissa Burns


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Last Updated on October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.


While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.


“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.


“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.


“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via

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