Celebrity Dentist, Dr Richard Marques, shares his top 10 tips for making sure that your smile is as healthy and bright as possible.
1 Brush twice daily: brush for two to three minutes, once in the morning and once in the evening. Anymore and you can wear the teeth away, any less and the teeth and gums may suffer.
2 Use an electric toothbrush: used correctly, they can remove up to 70% more plaque than manual brushes!
3 Perform interdental cleaning: ensure you are cleaning between the teeth at least once a day. You can use interdental brushes or electric flossers. If you notice your gums are bleeding more this can be a sign of gum disease, which can be caused or intensified by stress.
4 If your gums bleed when brushing, continue to brush them: they will eventually heal and change from being inflamed and bleeding to being healthy and pink.
5 Don’t forget to use a mouthwash after brushing: a non-alcoholic, fluoride containing mouthwash is far better than rinsing with tap water which washes the toothpaste and fluoride away!
6 Visit your dentist regularly: see your dentist every six months for a check-up and cleaning because you cannot remove the scale (tartar/calculus) yourself once it hardens.
7 Eat white foods: avoid pigmented foods such as beetroot and blueberries where possible, and eat chicken, rice and fish to avoid staining your teeth.
8 Drink water or milk: water is a natural cleanser, whilst the calcium in milk will help strengthen tooth enamel and your jaw bone. You can also drink lemonade or tonic water, and white wine is better than red wine.
9 Drink through a straw: try to avoid sugary and fizzy drinks, but if you do always drink through a straw it will minimise damage to the teeth and staining.
10 Encourage good oral hygiene from a young age: avoid giving your child or grandchild sticky sweets or fizzy drinks as these contain lots of sugars which get stuck in the teeth and can cause them to decay. Also avoid thumb-sucking or dummies as these can cause an open bite.