A nice smile often tops the charts of the most attractive quality in a partner surveys, but a healthy, bright smile doesn’t come for free. Fortunately, taking care of the teeth and gums is pretty easy and dedicating 5 minutes a day to your oral health will help to ensure that your smile attracts attention for all the right reasons. Here are some tips to maintain high standards of oral health:
Visit your dentist
Most people experience a degree of anxiety when the word ‘dentist’ comes up, but for some, the thought of going to see a dentist, sitting in that waiting room and hearing the sound of the drill is enough to put them off for months. Regular dental checks are important for a number of reasons, not least because they enable dentists to spot the early warning signs of serious health issues, such as tooth decay, gum disease and even oral cancer. When you see your dentist, they will also examine your mouth and give your teeth a good clean and polish. Dentist cleaning is more powerful than brushing at home and will ensure that your mouth is free from bacteria and plaque, as well as making your teeth sparkle. Ideally, you should see your dentist every 6 months. If you have existing dental health problems, such as gum disease, you may be encouraged to visit more frequently.
Brush your teeth
It sounds simple, but brushing your teeth is probably the most effective means of maintaining high standards of dental health. You should aim to brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day. It is best to brush in the morning and evening, so that your teeth are clean before you go to bed.
When you brush, cover all areas of your mouth and spend equal amounts of time on each corner. Angle your brush head so that you cover the biting surfaces, as well as the gum line and use a brush with a small head, so that you can reach right into the corners. Electric toothbrushes are proven to remove more plaque than traditional brushes, as the head oscillates much quicker.
If you have trouble brushing for the recommended time of 2 minutes each time you can invest in a toothbrush with a timer or brush along to a song.
Flossing is often overlooked and many people assume they don’t need to floss because they brush their teeth. Flossing is really important because it removes food debris and bacteria from the areas that are not so easy to reach with a toothbrush. Flossing is particularly effective for cleaning the gum line and the cracks between the teeth.
If you don’t feel comfortable flossing, you can also use inter-dental brushes. Inter-dental brushes are small brushes, which are designed to clean between the teeth. There are various different sizes available and you can ask your dental hygienist for advice if you have not used them before.
See a dental hygienist
Dental hygienists play a very important role in promoting good oral health and preventing oral diseases. You don’t have to have something wrong with you, such as symptoms of gum disease or a cavity, to benefit from seeing a dental hygienist. Cleaning treatments, such as a scale and polish, are very effective for freeing your mouth from harmful bacteria, plaque and tartar and they also give your teeth a healthy, bright glow. Dental hygienists in London can also offer advice about healthy eating and nutrition for good oral health, oral hygiene and giving up smoking.
It’s advisable to see a dental hygienist once a year. You no longer have to have a referral from a dentist to see a dental hygienist.
Watch your diet
Your diet has a major role to play when it comes to oral health. Sadly, many of the nation’s favourite foods are packed with sugar, which is bad news for your teeth and gums. Sugary foods cause bacteria in the mouth to release acids when they break down the sugars; these acids erode the enamel, contributing to an increased risk of decay and gum disease. Acidic foods have a similar effect on the enamel and even healthy foods, such as salad dressing, can be problematic for the teeth.
Try to ensure that you take in the recommended daily dose of calcium. Calcium is important for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth and can be found in dairy products, nuts and leafy green vegetables.
Consider when you eat, as well as what you eat
The make-up of your diet is influential for oral health, but so are your eating habits. When you eat, your enamel becomes temporarily weakened and if you eat constantly throughout the day, this means that your enamel is always under threat. Try to stick to three meals a day and avoid snacking on sugary foods and acidic and sweet drinks. Try to drink water or a glass of milk after eating and always wait at least 45-60 minutes after eating before you brush your teeth. If you clean your teeth straight after eating, your enamel will still be weak and this may cause damage.