Top tips for a healthy smile
Keeping your teeth healthy is more than just making them looking good. A healthy mouth isn’t achieved overnight, but by following our top tips you’ll have that Hollywood smile in no time.
Brush your teeth
It may come as no surprise that brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way to maintain those pearly whites. By giving your teeth a good scrub with fluoride toothpaste day and night, you’ll be on the right track to achieving that winning smile. To make sure you’re cleaning your teeth properly book regular check-ups with your dentist.
Keep your diet as clean as your teeth
A bad diet can lead to all kinds of health problems and your teeth are no exception. Specifically, an unbalanced diet has the potential to cause tooth decay.
Our mouths are full of bacteria, many of which are good for the oral ecosystem. However, bacteria that lie within plaque (a soft, sticky film that covers our teeth) produce acids when catalysed by sugar. By consuming large quantities of foods and drinks that are high in carbohydrates and sugars, these bacteria get the fuel they need to rot away the enamel protecting your teeth. Cavities form as a result of this enamel attack, issuing you with an express ticket to tooth decay.
Tooth decay may result in some major oral issues including gum disease and dental abscesses, as well as aesthetic damage to your teeth.
It’s pretty clear that avoiding tooth decay is paramount if you want your teeth to be looking their best. A balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables; starchy foods such as pasta and bread; good sources of protein from meat, fish, eggs or beans; and some (preferably low fat) dairy products, should help you in your defence against tooth decay.
Don’t be eluded by fruit juice
Having a sweet tooth is bad for your teeth, so keep your sugar intake respectable. Although sugar is essential for our bodies to function, some of the things we eat and drink go a little overboard. Unfortunately, it tends to be all the tasty stuff.
We’re all aware of the exceptionally sugar-heavy foods and drinks that find their way into our lives; chocolate cake, ice cream, and Coca Cola, may be ‘worse’ for us than fruit juice and smoothies, but this isn’t necessarily true when it comes to our teeth.
Sugars found in fruit occur naturally and aren’t to be worried about. The problems arise when fruit is juiced or mashed up into smoothies. The conversion process of fruit to drink releases sugars from the structure of the fruit that are perfect for the bacteria in plaque.
The daily recommended amount of fruit juice or smoothie per day is 150ml – equivalent to one small glass.
Shake cigarettes and alcohol
As well as providing you with the universally unwelcome issue of bad breath, cigarettes will do their best to tarnish your teeth. Smoking can cause severe yellowing of the teeth and lead to more serious problems, like gum disease. The situation is worsened when partnered-up with alcohol.
Alcohol damages your enamel by eroding the outer surface of your teeth. Additionally, research suggests that a combination of alcohol and cigarettes increases the risk of mouth cancer. It’s estimated that heavy drinkers and smokers have a 38 times increased risk of developing mouth cancer than people who neither drink nor smoke.
The main stain culprits to avoid
Wine, tea, coffee, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, cola, and the aforementioned cigarettes, should all be consumed in moderation if you want to keep your smile stain-free.
If you’re worried about your teeth becoming stained, speak to your dentist for their advice, or if you think the damage has already been done, consult your dentist for a professional clean. There are teeth-whitening options readily available, but it’s best to ask your dentist before you use them.
If you want to check how balanced your diet is, you can check the NHS’ Eat Well Guide by clicking here.
If you want some ideas for healthy drinks that won’t damage your teeth, click here.
You can book a consultation with one of our Medstars’ dentists below, with expertise ranging from smile makeovers, teeth whitening and root fillings.