Recent studies have shown that people often underestimate the age of someone who has a bright white smile, believing that it makes them look younger and more attractive. Your smile will often be the first thing a person will notice about you. Therefore making sure your smile is in tip top condition has never been so important.
Looking after your teeth can help improve your self-confidence and overall health and wellbeing. With a dazzling smile who knows what you can achieve!
In this article we look at our 5 steps to a great smile.
- Oral hygiene
The first step to caring for your teeth is to ensure that you have in place an effective oral hygiene routine. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and use interdental cleaning aids such as floss, tape or interdental brushes to clean the 40% of tooth surfaces that brushing alone cannot reach. This ensures that you remove food particles that can become trapped between teeth. If left these provide a food source for bacteria and in the long term can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
At your dental examination the dentist will complete a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums. This enables any problems to be identified early and should reduce the need for expensive and invasive treatments. The dentist may also advise that you see the hygienist who can provide regular scaling and polishing and oral hygiene advice. By ensuring that plaque and stains are not allowed to build up, you can ensure that your teeth remain as healthy as possible for a long as possible. At the end of each appointment the dentist or hygienist will advise you on when you next need to attend for an appointment.
- Healthy Diet
Include plenty of dairy and other calcium rich foods in your diet to help maintain strong teeth and bones. Calcium can be found in milk, yoghurt, butter and fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin C in citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons and limes, also helps to improve gum health. Sugary and sticky foods that stick to the crevices of your teeth are particularly bad as bacteria feed off the sugars and release acids that cause cavities. It is best where possible to restrict sugary foods to meal times to prevent regular acid attacks on your teeth.
Teeth Whitening is a safe and effective way of brightening the natural colour of your teeth. Teeth whitening can improve staining caused by foods, drinks, smoking, medications and the general ageing process.
There are two main forms of tooth whitening:
- At home tooth whitening
In this case the dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which are used to create custom made whitening trays. The dentist will show you how to load the trays with whitening solution and you will need to wear this for 30 minutes to 8 hours overnight depending on the strength of the gel and the speed at which you are looking for results. This can be done in your own time and so can be fitted in at a time to suit you.
- In surgery tooth whitening
In this case the whitening gel will be applied to your teeth in the dental surgery and will be activated using a blue light. This process may be repeated 3 or 4 times in an hour session. It is often advised that in surgery tooth whitening is followed up with a course of at home tooth whitening in order to ensure the best possible results.
The effects of whitening would normally be expected to last for 2-3 years but this will depend on lifestyle factors. Your dentist will be able to give you an idea of the expected results prior to starting treatment.
For those people who would like to completely rejuvenate their smile, a smile makeover may be the treatment for you. The dentist will complete a detailed assessment of your teeth and smile and will put together an individual treatment plan tailored to meet your needs. This may include crowns, bridges, implants, tooth whitening and facial aesthetics to help give you the younger and brighter smile you desire.
Here at West Wickham Dental Practice we are able to offer a wide range of services to help you achieve a great smile, including white fillings, teeth whitening, teeth straightening, dental implants, crowns and veneers.
If you have any questions or would like to find out what we are able to offer you, do not hesitate to contact the surgery on 0208 776 1188 and book a consultation to find out how we can help you Smile Proud today!