On a regular day I don't tend to overthink my teeth if I'm honest- aside from 'has this red lipstick smudged onto them' (which sometimes it has...boo). Despite being self conscious about 99% of how I look I've always been happy with my smile, and have been lucky in the fact that I've never needed any dental work doing. But I was sat in the dentists the other day for my six monthly checkup and it got me thinking about some of the ways they can be best cared for- after all we do only get one adult set! Here are five tips for a clean, healthy smile.
Brush, Floss, Mouthwash
Stating the obvious right? But brush twice a day, swish around a bit of mouthwash and floss whenever you're feeling enthusiastic and there's a 99% chance that you'll never get a filling. Even though I drink an obscene amount of diet drinks (they might be sugar free but are still horrible for your teeth!) I've never had a filling, and can only put it down to regular brushing/ mouthwash as I don't do anything else to them.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
That includes eating your veggies, drinking lots of water and getting plenty of calcium. Smoking can cause a variety of problems with teeth (including discolouration and gum disease), and regularly going overboard on sugary alcohol isn't doing them any favours either. Plus when you're drunk you're much more likely to forget to brush them before falling into bed.
Beware of Sugars and Acids
We were all warned as kids that eating too many sweets would lead to bad teeth. However sugar is a crafty one and winds up in just about everything, fruit contains a tonne of natural sugar and the sweet stuff is even in most savoury dishes. Acid is also your gnashers worst enemy and some foods can be so acidic they can attack your teeth directly, acid enamel erosion causes irreversible loss of tooth structure- scary! So be wary of things like vinegar, wine and fruit juices. For the past five or so years I've drunk all cold drinks with the exception of plain water with a straw, I always considered it as a bit of a bad habit (especially as I'm now unable to enjoy drinks straight out of a glass) but it's probably a good thing really. When you drink through a straw less of your teeth are coated in the sugars and acids from your drink. Maybe one of the reasons I'm able to keep up my diet drink habit without damaging my teeth!
Visit the Dentist Every Six Months
It might not be most people's idea of a fun day out, and it's usually pretty inconvenient. However getting yourself to a dentist every six months (even if your teeth feel fine) is essential. The dentist will able to pick up any potential problems including things like gum disease early, which will save you a lot of pain and money in the long run. If you're after cosmetic work then you might be better off looking for a reputable private dentist, it's amazing the kinds of transformations dentists can achieve these days; whether it's dental implants, invisalign or veneers.
Change Your Toothbrush Every Six Months
Not only will an old toothbrush be full of accumulated bacteria, but trying to scrub between all of the crevices of your teeth with a flattened mess of bristles is never going to go well. A worn out toothbrush is going to leave plaque and food residue behind which may well lead to you coming face to face with a dentists drill a few months later. I always buy toothbrushes in packs of four, that way I've always got a new one on hand when it gets past it's best.
Do you have any tips for maintaining healthy teeth?
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