7 Top Tips for a Healthy Smile
Our 7 top tips for a healthy smile – at New Street Dental Care we want to help you keep your smile gleaming. So, we have come up with these simple everyday hints and tips for a healthy smile that you can follow at home!
1. Brush your teeth twice a day
It only takes the plaque bacteria in your mouth 20 minutes to multiply, so brushing last thing at night (or before bed time) and at least one other time during the day maximises the chance of reducing the number of bacteria living in your mouth. The less harmful bacteria you have in your mouth, the less likely you are to develop dental decay or gum disease (plaque bacteria also causes bad breath, so good brushing can help with this too)
2. Spend at least 2 minutes brushing
It takes 2 minutes in total so that you can spend enough time on each tooth and brush all the surfaces (front, back and the biting surface). If you don’t have a timer, listening to your favourite tune on your iPod can be a good way to make the time go faster. If you get really bored you can always try a tooth-brushing app such as Brush DJ.
3. Brush in circular movements
Brushing the gums as well as the teeth is really important, when following these tips for a healthy smile, as bacteria love to live in the tiny gap between your teeth and gums. Using a circular motion means you are less likely to damage your gums and teeth which can happen if you scrub back and forward. Also, using a toothbrush with medium to soft bristles will prevent damage and choosing a brush with a small head will help to reach the difficult areas at the back of your mouth.
4. Clean in-between your teeth
The tooth brush bristles can’t reach in-between your teeth so using floss for small gaps and interdental brushes for larger gaps helps to remove bacteria that would otherwise be left to cause tooth decay and gum disease. If you don’t clean in between your teeth you are leaving 40% of the surfaces untouched!
5. Use a fluoride toothpaste
Fluoride has been proven to reduce the rate of tooth decay by 40-70%! On the back of the tube make sure it says it has at least 1350ppm of fluoride (for adults and children over 7) to get the best results. To further make use of the fluoride in toothpaste, once you have brushed, spit the toothpaste out but don’t rinse with water after.
6. Reduce your frequency of sugar
The bacteria that causes plaque, tooth decay and gum disease feed on sugar to produce acid which attacks your teeth for 20-40 minutes each time we eat. So, reducing the frequency to no more than 5 hits of sugar a day can help prevent disease (3 meals and 2 snacks during a day). Increased sugar intake also has links to diabetes, cancer, obesity, liver disease and heart disease as well as causing acne, bad breath and is highly addictive.
7. Visit your dentist regularly
Our last top tip for a healthy smile is to visit your dentist regularly. Here at New Street Dental Care, our dentist can detect the early signs of tooth decay and gum disease so that the minimal treatment is needed and you don’t end up having lots of work done on your teeth. We can also help to prevent tooth decay by placing fissure sealants on the teeth which provide a physical barrier between the tooth and bacteria. We also monitor for early signs of mouth cancer so even if you don’t have any teeth a trip to the dentist is still worthwhile.