Dental treatment and oral hygiene
TOP TEN TIPS FOR MAINTAINING A DAZZLING SMILE!
Your smile is one of your most powerful assets. It can help you make connections, communicate how you’re feeling, and show the world exactly who you are.
At iSmile Studio we help clients to maintain a healthy mouth and strong teeth. We love when overall health manifests itself in a confident smile. We offer, whitening, restorative, orthodontic and cosmetic options. However fundamentally we believe minimal intervention is the most beneficial approach.
We strongly subscribe to an ethos of prevention and for that reason, your oral care doesn’t stop once your appointment is over. In fact, it’s only just beginning!
When it comes to brushing our teeth, the absolute minimum requirement is twice a day for at least two minutes (and ideally three to four!) Alongside brushing, there are a number of other steps you can take to maintain your oral hygiene.
We’ve pulled together the following list of handy tips, each of which can easily be followed at home, and will help keep your oral health in peak condition!
1| Floss, floss and floss again!
The most effective tool we have to prevent gum disease is also the most well-known … and unfortunately for many, the most tedious.
Flossing for two or three minutes at least once each day will mitigate the presence of bacteria resulting from food particles caught between teeth while eating. Flossing before you brush can also make it easier for the bristles of your toothbrush to reach between the teeth.
Clients often confess to avoiding their flossing commitment because it irritates their gums and causes bleeding. However, the trick is to be patient! The more you stick to a flossing routine, the stronger your gums will become.
However, for those who find flossing an impossible task, alternatives do exist to clean between the teeth. Tooth cleaning sticks and interdental brushes can offer an effective solution, as can an oral irrigator, which works by shooting a small jet of water between the teeth to dislodge food particles.
2| Take a softly, softly approach
It’s important that we treat our teeth and gums gently. Using a hard toothbrush can often be too abrasive, and can risk wearing away tooth enamel and causing gums to bleed.
For that reason, we recommend a toothbrush with soft polyester bristles that are rounded at the ends. Your brushing technique is important too. A vigorous and forceful approach can also be damaging to gums. The best technique is a gentle one, with the toothbrush held at a 45-degree angle, and moved in a circular motion.
3| Remember, a toothbrush is not for life!
As your toothbrush ages, its bristles will become frayed. This not only renders it incapable of doing a satisfactory job, but can also provide a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes gum disease.
You should make sure to change your toothbrush – including the head of your electric brush – every three to four months, or as soon as you notice the bristles showing wear and tear.
If you keep a separate toothbrush at work, you may want to consider changing it more frequently, as bacteria can build up at a faster pace when a toothbrush is stored in a desk drawer.
4| Go sonic
There are lots of advantages associated with trading in your manual toothbrush for a technologically-superior alternative. Electric toothbrushes have the significant benefit of covering a larger area in a shorter amount of time, and their motion is proven to be more effective at reducing the risk of gingivitis.
5| Try something different
Firstly, consider brushing your teeth to music. While this may seem a little random, it’s a trick that’s been tried and tested.
You should aim to brush your teeth for at least three to four minutes, which equates to the length of the average song.
Turning on the radio or listening to your favourite Spotify playlist will provide a guide to ensure you spend enough time brushing your teeth, while also providing a welcome distraction! Having said that, you should probably avoid lengthier tracks … so no American Pie or Bohemian Rhapsody!
You should also consider brushing with the wrong hand. Although it seems an illogical thing to do, it actually makes lots of sense, although it’s more about the benefit to your brain than your teeth. Brushing (or doing any other activity for that matter) with your opposite hand helps stimulate growth of the neural pathways between the left and right hemispheres of your brain. So you can get smarter while you brush!
6| Use a straw
Beverages containing lots of sugar, and darker drinks like tea, coffee and red wine, all have the potential to stain teeth.
The solution? The humble straw! Of course, it’s becoming increasingly unacceptable in today’s society to use traditional disposable plastic straws, but a metal or paper alternative is a fool-proof way to limit the amount of sugar or staining liquids that make contact with your teeth.
Try using a straw to avoid sugar or staining liquids that make contact with your teeth.
7| Wait a while after eating
When you consume acidic foods and drink (for example, most meats and citrus fruits) you should wait for a minimum of half an hour to sixty minutes before thinking about brushing your teeth.
Brushing any sooner will push the acid into the tooth enamel, which has the potential to cause unnecessary damage. You should also make sure to rinse your mouth out thoroughly with water before starting to brush.
8| Chew sugarless gum
Chewing gum is an effective way to increase saliva production in the mouth, which is beneficial for overall oral health.
It can also help prevent cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to the teeth, and can displace food particles lodged in the spaces between them. For that reason, it’s a great idea to chew gum for a short period of time following every meal. Just one word of caution … when buying your gum, always remember to choose a sugar-free option. The last thing you want to do is offset the benefits associated with chewing gum by introducing additional sugar into your diet.
9| Use alcohol-free mouthwash
While mouthwash can kill bacteria and freshen breath, it should not be considered your primary tool for maintaining good oral health.
It should form one small element of your daily at-home dental routine. When selecting a mouthwash, it’s important to choose an alcohol-free option. Alcohol not only kills the good bacteria our mouths need to stay healthy, but can also dry the mouth’s moist tissues and cause painful ulcers.
Remember never to use mouthwash right after brushing your teeth. Doing so will only wash away the beneficial fluoride left on your teeth from your toothpaste. Pick a time of day when you wouldn’t normally brush your teeth, for instance after lunch.
10| Air-dry your toothbrush
Once you’ve finished brushing, give your toothbrush a thorough rinse, before storing it in an upright position in an open environment.
Covering your toothbrush or storing it in a closed container will only promote the growth of bacteria on its bristles. You’ll need to make sure that however and wherever you store your toothbrush, air is able to circulate, allowing it to breathe. Importantly, make sure your toothbrush has enough time to dry before you use it again.
By following this advice, you can be confident you’re taking the right steps to maximise your oral health, and support your overall wellbeing.
Our mouths, teeth and smiles do so much for us. They allow us to eat and drink, make ourselves heard, sing, laugh, and connect with loved ones. The least we can do is return the favour by treating them with the care and respect they deserve.
Still have concerns?
Let us discuss your options with you and put your mind at ease!