25 May The Best Way to a Healthy Smile
Professional dental advice to keep your teeth & mouth healthy
With the right approach to looking after your teeth, you can maintain a healthy smile and avoid the cost of future remedial dental treatment and repairs. Here at Twenty Twenty Dental in Salisbury we have outlined some top tips to help you have a healthier smile.
Brush Your Teeth Every Day
Brushing your teeth and gum line at least twice a day removes the plaque bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your teeth is the simplest way of keeping your smile looking great and to keep your mouth healthy.
Should I use and Electric or Manual Toothbrush?
Modern electric toothbrushes make brushing much easier and are more efficient at removing plaque. You can choose between an oscillating brush (e.g Oral B) or a sonic brush (e.g Sonicare) and both remove plaque efficiently. Here are some tips to make electric toothbrushes even more effective at cleaning your teeth:
- The brush should be angled towards the gum at about 45° and run slowly and methodically along the gum line on both sides of the teeth.
- Try to start on one side and finish on the other so you don’t miss out any teeth.
- If you are using a manual toothbrush, always go for a soft bristled brush to avoid causing gum and tooth damage and recession.
- Hold the brush at a 45° angle to the gun and rotate slowly as you brush so the bristles sweep plaque bacteria from the gum crevice around the necks of the teeth.
- You should spend at least two minutes brushing (most of us don’t spend anywhere near that!).
- Some electric toothbrushes come with timers or apps to tell you how long you’re brushing for.
Don’t forget to clean between your teeth!
Tooth decay and gum disease often start in between the teeth because this is an area commonly missed. Daily regular interdental cleaning is essential.
Which method of interdental cleaning is best?
The best method is the one you do every day but here are some examples of methods of interdental cleaning.
These come in lots of different sizes, are generally more effective at plaque removal and most people find them easier to use than some other methods.
Waxed dental tape is best product to choose. Wrap the tape around your middle fingers and using the thumb and forefinger to control the tape, keep the tape taut and slide it between the teeth and right down into the gum crevice of each tooth.
If you have dental implants, dental bridges, fixed braces or teeth that are just difficult to reach or very close together, a Waterpik can be very useful. They use a pressurised stream of water to clean between the teeth. We recommend warm water and using the the Waterpik before brushing to avoid washing away the toothpaste.
How can I help myself look after my oral health?
- Brush thoroughly with a good toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes and clean in between the teeth at least once a day.
- Use a good electric toothbrush or a soft manual toothbrush and change your toothbrush or head regularly.
- Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper or brush every time you clean.
- Healthy gums shouldn’t bleed. If you’re noticing bleeding gums seek advice from a dentist as you could be suffering from gum disease.
- Eat healthily. Avoid sugary and acidic food and drinks and eat plenty of fresh vegetables. Vitamin supplements such as vitamin D and vitamin C can be useful.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking and stress and try to get plenty of sleep.
In our next Oral Health article we will look at the importance of choosing the right toothpaste, which mouthwash to use and the importance of cleaning your tongue. We also advocate that you should visit your dentist on a regular basis for a check-up, again we will cover this in the next instalment.