Christmas is fast approaching, so what better time to show your smile some TLC. Here are ten tips to get your teeth mistletoe ready.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Brush twice a day, every day
Brush your pearlies for two minutes, twice a day, including last thing at night. Pay special attention to any hard-to-reach areas, and don’t forget to brush along your gumline.
Not sure how long you’re brushing for? Brush DJ is a free app that plays your favourite music while you brush.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Clean between your teeth
Brushing alone won’t clean all of the surfaces of your teeth, so you’ll need to floss or use interdental brushes once a day, too.
You might need to use a combination of floss and interdental brushes to clean between all your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to recommend the best tools and techniques for the job.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Visit your dentist every six months
Regular check-ups with your dentist are essential for a healthy mouth. They’ll be able to spot potential issues early, so you can act quickly and avoid expensive treatments in the future.
During your check-up, they’ll examine your teeth, gums and mouth and take X-rays if needed. If you’re a star brusher, they might advise you to visit less frequently.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Pick a toothpaste that contains fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride is a simple and effective way to keep your teeth healthy.
Look for a toothpaste that contains 1,350–1,500ppm fluoride.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Use a mouthwash between brushing
If you like to use a mouthwash, make sure you use it at a different time of day than when you brush your teeth. If you rinse straight after brushing, you’ll wash away the higher concentration of fluoride from your toothpaste.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Limit sugar to mealtimes
The best time to enjoy sugary treats and acidic fruits is with meals. After your teeth have been exposed to sugars and acids, it takes a while for your mouth to recover.
If you graze throughout the day, you’ll be subjecting your teeth to repeated attacks, and you’ll be more at risk of tooth decay.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Stop smoking
As well as being bad for your overall health, smoking is terrible for your teeth. It can lead to bad breath, discolouration, gum disease, tooth loss and even mouth cancer.
If you smoke, regular appointments with your dentist and hygienist are even more important. They can also offer you advice and support with quitting.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Avoid bad habits
Some common habits that are detrimental to your teeth include biting nails, grinding your teeth, crunching ice cubes and chewing pens.
Never use your teeth as tools, for example, to open bottles.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Don’t do it yourself
However tempted you might be, never take dental matters into your own hands. Unfortunately, there’s lots of misinformation online, and people have tried extracting teeth, glueing on crowns and even straightening their teeth at home.
DIY dentistry can have many undesirable consequences, including tooth loss, and treatment to put things right can cost you more than seeing a professional in the first place.
Tips for a sparkling smile – Seek advice from a specialist
If you’re thinking about a cosmetic dental treatment, for example, braces or Invisalign, you might want to visit a specialist for a consultation.
Specialist orthodontists like Orthodontics by Jackie only straighten teeth, so they’re very experienced in their chosen area and can help you achieve the best outcome.