News, Views and Advice

‘A healthy smile starts at home’ 28-01-2015

Back in 2014, the Daily Mail made a bold claim: ‘Yes, you CAN have perfect teeth forever’. Here at Ock Street we agree that it is possible to maintain a ‘Hollywood smile’ in the long term, and that following some simple steps at home can make this even easier. Today’s article summarises some of the key points of the Daily Mail’s guide to a sparkly set of teeth.

Step 1: ‘A healthy smile starts at home’. Taking good care of your teeth at home is the fundamental first step to preventing the onset of dental problems and maintaining a perfect smile. Plaque causes dental decay and gum disease, so by following a structured cleaning routine, and removing plaque on a daily basis, you remove the cause of many dental problems.

Teeth should be brushed twice a day: morning and evening. You should brush for two minutes each time, with half the toothbrush head on the teeth and half on the gum. Be gentle: brushing too hard can damage your gums. Some electric toothbrushes have a function whereby they switch off automatically after two minutes, but you can always time yourself on your watch otherwise. Following brushing, dental floss should be used, or inter-dental brushes. Your dentist or hygienist can give you advice on how to use dental floss and inter-dental brushes effectively.

Mouthwashes also form a part of many people’s dental routines. However, you may want to do your research before picking up a bottle on your next supermarket shop: some studies have found a positive effect from using certain types of mouthwash, however if used too soon after brushing, mouthwashes can wash away beneficial ingredients in toothpaste. If you wish to continue using a mouthwash, it’s best to wait half an hour after brushing.

Lastly, when considering your routine at home, keep a close eye on your sugar consumption. Frequent intake of sugar can cause a dramatic increase in your risk of dental decay. Steer clear of foods with added sugar where possible, and be particularly cautious about energy and diet drinks, fruit juices and effervescent vitamin drinks.

Step 2: ‘Dental makeover’. Once your oral hygiene routine is well established at home, you may want to consider cosmetic dentistry to boost your smile. There are many procedures now available, and at Ock Street we offer a wide selection for you to choose from. Why not speak to one of our dentists about our professional standard tooth bleaching? This is a quick way to make a dramatic difference to the appearance of your teeth. Ock Street also offer veneers: thin coverings attached over your natural teeth with a special adhesive.

If your teeth are misaligned you may want to consider orthodontics to help correct this. Crooked or overlapping teeth can be difficult to clean, leading to an increased risk of decay and gum disease. Braces have come a long way from the ‘train tracks’ of previous years. These days there are a variety of different options for braces, with the ‘invisible’ brace (for example Invisalign), being a particular favourite. We would be pleased to talk you through the options and find a match for you.

Step 3: ‘If all else fails, try implants’. Despite best efforts, it is accepted that sometimes the guidance and options above may not work out as planned. Implants look like natural teeth, and are the perfect option for when teeth have reached the point that they need to be removed. Take a look at the video on our implants page which explains what implants entail, and the possible benefits for you.

To summarise, instating a careful oral hygiene routine at home is a key factor in maintaining a dazzling smile. We are on hand to provide advice and guidance to help you with this, and to provide information about cosmetic options to help further improve your smile. Get in touch today, or visit other sections of our website for further details of services we offer.

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