The beginning of May represents a shift from the long winter months towards summer, and events like the Coronation will give people a chance to get out and celebrate, socialise and party.
Yet, in a 2019 survey conducted by the Oral Health Foundation, nearly one in five people received negative comments about their smile from family members. And a further 51% of British Adults feel self-conscious about their teeth.
So, if you can relate to this in any way and feel somewhat self-conscious about your smile, we have you covered. In this post, we’ll give you some top tips on how to improve teeth health and get your smile ‘summer ready’.
So let’s get started:
Tip #1 – Regular brushing and flossing
We know from experience that the patients with the healthiest smiles understand the importance of preventative dentistry. It’s never too late to take control of your smile, starting with regular brushing and flossing.
Yet more than a quarter of Brits (27%) don’t brush their teeth regularly, and over 30% of adults say they never floss.
The standard recommended time for brushing teeth is two minutes twice a day. This was first rolled out in the 1970s when toothbrush types and techniques were less developed. However, evidence now suggests that the longer you brush your teeth, the more effectively it removes plaque.
Consequently, dentists are encouraged to tell patients to brush their teeth for up to four minutes. That’s the length of your average song on the radio.
Longer brushing times mean we can effectively clean teeth better by diving into those hard-to-reach places.
Flossing, too, is an issue for people who don’t have perfectly aligned teeth. Standard dental floss can be hard to fit between the tooth gaps. For this reason, you might want to invest in an irrigation tool for your teeth, such as a WaterPik. It’s way more gentle on teeth, and daily use removes up to 99% of plaque and biofilm.
Tip #2 – Limit sugary food and drink
Another way to improve teeth health is to limit or avoid sugary foods and drinks. Plaque loves sugar and uses it to produce cavity-causing acid.
Remember, many foods and beverages contain hidden sugar, so it’s not just the obvious ones like fizzy drinks. Foods like some flavoured yoghurts and certain sports drinks often contain high sugar levels, so to be sure, check the label before buying.
As a tip, the NHS suggests a daily limit for sugar intake of 30 grams per day. That’s the equivalent of seven sugar cubes. Limiting sugar intake makes it easier to avoid oral health problems like cavities and gum disease.
Tip #3 Consider dental sealants
While many children receive dental sealants to coat newly erupted molars, they can also help with adult plaque protection. Dental sealants are especially beneficial for filling grooves and fissures on adult teeth where plaque could otherwise form. Having a defensive barrier between the sticky plaque and teeth goes a long way to preventing cavities and improving teeth health.
Tip #4 – Schedule regular appointments
Regular dental visits can help to improve oral health. A thorough dental check-up, for example, allows a dentist to spot any problems early, and a professional hygiene clean removes any hardened plaque (tartar), which is impossible to remove with brushing alone. When tartar is left untreated, it increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. So timely removal is essential.
Now we’ve explored how to improve tooth health, let’s look at what else you can do to make your smile ‘summer ready.’
Tip #5 – professional teeth whitening
Teeth discolouration is a common occurrence, and around 40% of the UK population are unhappy with the appearance of their smile. However, it isn’t just foods and beverages that can take the shine off a smile. As we age, the outer layer of enamel thins, exposing more of the yellow dentin beneath and making the teeth appear less white.
Professional-grade teeth whitening is ideal for combatting discoloured teeth and restoring a whiter, brighter smile. Some chairside treatments, for example, achieve instant results, while dentist-led take-home kits can achieve similar results over a longer timeframe.
Tip #6 – Cosmetic bonding and veneers
Depending upon your budget, one way to get an instantly brighter smile is through cosmetic bonding or porcelain veneers. Both treatments provide similar results but vary in their application.
For example, cosmetic (dental) bonding is applied to the surface of the teeth in resin form (the same material used in white fillings to conceal slight chips, cracks, and discolouration.
Alternatively, veneers are thin shells of porcelain bonded to the tooth’s front surface. Once in position, they provide a super-strong and natural-looking appearance that can dramatically improve the aesthetic of your current smile.
While dental bonding typically lasts 3-5 years before it needs to be reapplied, porcelain veneers are stain-resistant and can last up to 20 years with proper care.
Naturally, porcelain veneers are more expensive than dental bonding.
Tip #7 – Discreet orthodontics
Clear aligners like Invisalign might be an alternative if you have crooked teeth you want to straighten but don’t want to socialise while wearing visible metal-style braces.
Just like conventional braces, clear aligners gradually move the teeth into alignment. The difference is they are worn over the teeth like an invisible mouth guard avoiding the need for brackets and wiring. The result is a discreet treatment that nobody needs to know about.
So there you have it – 7 top tips on how to improve teeth health and get your smile ‘summer ready.’
If you aren’t happy with your smile or feel your teeth could do with some extra TLC, we invite you to talk to Carmen and the team at Foxbury Dental.
As a private dentist near Lutterworth, we provide exceptional patient-centred care along with various affordable dental care plans to help maintain your oral health. Don’t be put off by a less-than-perfect smile this summer; contact us and book your first dental visit.