[Photo by Sean Jackson]
10. Use an electric toothbrush
If you haven’t got one already then it really is time to invest in an electric toothbrush. These can clean more thoroughly and many of them even have a timer so that you don’t absentmindedly brush them for too short a time! Buy one with a removable rather than a fixed head so that you can get longer use out of it and be willing to invest a little bit more money so that you can own one with a longer battery life.
9. Floss each day
It is firmly established in people’s minds that brushing twice-a-day can help guard against gum disease. However, flossing often gets over-looked despite several studies concluding that using floss to clean between teeth is more effective at reducing gingivitis than tooth-brushing alone.
8. Watch what you eat
It is always better for your teeth that you don’t snack in between meals. Advice from MRC Human Nutrition Research states: “If you do have sweets, eat them all at once”. This means, for example, eating a whole chocolate bar rather than constantly dipping into a bag of sweets.
Chocolate is certainly a popular snack to have after a meal but consider switching to cheese and biscuits instead. Cheese is a good food to eat as it helps produce saliva and kills the harmful bacteria which lurks around mouth.
7. Drink your way to good oral health
Your teeth are under attack for about an hour after you consume a fizzy drink –tooth decay and dental erosion can often result from excessive exposure to sugar.
Drinking with a straw can reduce fizzy drinks’ harmful contact with teeth and reduce the chance of tooth decay taking hold.
And all dentists agree that water and milk are both far more kind to teeth than those sugar-laden liquids which come in cans.
6. Give up smoking
Using nicotine products increases your risk of staining your teeth yellow and suffering from gum disease and tooth-loss. If you need any further motivation bear in mind that a survey conducted by National No Smoking Day found that 57 per cent of people are put off by the idea of kissing someone with smoker’s breath!
5. Establish a routine
Try to get a daily routine in place so that looking after your teeth becomes second nature. Your routine should include brushing your teeth at least twice-a-day and waiting a while after eating or drinking before picking up a tooth brush. Brushing too soon after a meal might damage your teeth as this is when your enamel is at its most vulnerable.
4. Book a dentist’s appointment
Just because you feel no pain in your mouth doesn’t mean that you don’t have tooth decay or other dental problems. That’s why it’s always best to see your dentist regularly so that problems can be detected at an early stage when they are easier to treat. Putney Dentist Dr Glafcos Tombolis said: “Sometimes, preventative measures such as an appointment with a hygienist can be more beneficial than a dental check-up as it keeps bacterial levels low.”
3. Check out teeth-whitening
Teeth can be whitened by home whitening or ‘in-office’ home whitening. Home whitening involves moulds of your teeth being taken so that teeth-whitening trays can be constructed and used at home.
‘In-office’ whitening normally involves teeth-whitening gel being applied to your teeth before the light of a powerful lamp is directed at your mouth. The procedure, which takes place on the dentist’s chair, normally takes about 90 minutes.
Dentist Dr. Glafcos Tombolis said: “A combination of home and in-office treatments is far more effective than having one treatment in isolation.”
2. Consider cosmetic treatment
Teeth-whitening is just one of many popular modern dental treatments which are available. Others include procedures involving veneers, crowns and Inman Aligners. Braces are also popular and, thanks to modern technology, they are far more discreet than the braces of yesteryear. Invisalign Braces for instance are nearly invisible – no one can tell that you are wearing them but everyone can see the benefit to your smile.
1. Don’t worry, be happy
And finally… don’t forget that the most obvious way to improve your smile is to be happy. Be healthy, enjoy your life and let the world see your smile!