Smile Your Way to a College Scholarship

Get better at the sports you play and the life you lead at STACK. Improve your training, nutrition and lifestyle with daily

College scouts and coaches look not only at the way you play the game, but also at how well you present yourself off the field. Coaches want players who can represent their team and university in a positive, wholesome way. No recruiter will talk to you for long if your teeth look more yellow than white, or if your breath, for a lack of a better term, straight up stinks.

Think of it this way: nobody wants to buy a car with a beat-up grill or a nasty smell inside.

So before you go on a recruiting trip or meet with a coach, make sure you brush your teeth. You'll be conversing with the coach, and he or she will wants to hear what you have to say, not smell it.

Follow these easy oral hygiene steps, recommended by most dentists:

-       Hold brush at a 45-degree angle against gumline.
-       Gently brush from where tooth and gum meet to the chewing surface in short strokes (about half-a-tooth-wide).
-       Use same method to brush all outside and inside surfaces of teeth.
-       Use short sweeping strokes, tipping bristles into pits and crevices to clean chewing surfaces.
-       Holding brush vertically, use back and forth motion, bringing front part of brush over teeth and gums, to clean inside surface of front teeth.
-       Using a forward-sweeping motion, gently brush tongue and roof of mouth to remove decay-causing bacteria.

Sets/Reps: 2 sets a day (morning/night) for 2-3 minutes
Coaching Points: Brushing too hard can cause receding gums, tooth sensitivity and, over time, loose teeth.

-       Using back and forth motion, carefully insert floss between two teeth.
-       Gently bring the floss to gumline, without forcing it under gums.
-       Curve floss around edge of tooth in a "C" shape, and slide it up and down the side of each tooth.
-       Repeat process between all teeth.

Sets/Reps: 2-5 sets a day (morning/night/after meals), every tooth
Coaching Points: Do not force floss above gumline // Floss backsides of back teeth // Use dental floss picks if you have trouble with regular floss.

-       After brushing and flossing, sip small amount of mouthwash.
-       Vigorously swish mouthwash around mouth with lips closed and teeth apart.
-       Continue swishing for time specified on label.
-       Spit out all mouthwash.
-       Rinse mouth with water, unless label indicates otherwise.

Sets/Reps: 2 sets a day (morning/night) for time specified on label
Coaching Points: Do not swallow mouthwash // Wait 30 minutes after rinsing before eating or drinking anything.



Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock