May 22, 2024

NVT Health

Health Blog

Top Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Smile

Looking after your teeth and gums can provide many benefits for your overall health and wellbeing. However, with so much conflicting advice on the TV, internet and social media these days, it can be hard to know what is actually important and what measures you should be taking to protect your smile.

We spoke to some professional Essex dental experts to get their top tips for maintaining a healthy smile.

  • Brushing

Brushing your teeth seems simple enough but it’s surprising how many people get the basics wrong so be sure to;

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, every day to remove leftover food particles and help prevent plaque.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue as a build-up of bacteria can lead to bad breath.
  • Brush for a full two minutes each time and use a timer on your phone to make sure you are meeting that target.
  • Use the right brushing technique by gently moving back and forth in short strokes, brushing all the inner, outer and chewing surfaces.

  • Additional Cleaning
  • Floss between the teeth daily with dental floss, interdental brushes or an air flosser to clear away hard to reach plaque.
  • Use mouthwash, but instead of using it after brushing, use it between brushing and after meals to help wash away debris, clean the mouth and freshen breath.
  • Remember to spit out the toothpaste and not to rinse your mouth with water afterwards as this washes away the fluoride from the toothpaste that coats and helps to protect the teeth.
  • Products
    • Use a toothpaste with fluoride as this helps to strengthen tooth enamel.
    • Use a flossing product that works best for you such as dental floss, interdental brushes or an air flosser.
    • Make sure you use a fluoride mouthwash
    • Ideally you should use an electric toothbrush as these can be much more effective than regular brushes.
  • Change your toothbrush or brush heads every 8-12 weeks depending on wear.

  • Lifestyle
  • Smoking can really affect the health and appearance of your teeth and gums. Quitting smoking can make a huge difference on your overall and oral health with many great benefits.
  • Beware of snacking as this can have a big impact on your oral health. 
  • If you do have a snack, then try to ensure it is low in sugar and brush or mouthwash after.
  • Avoid drinking large volumes of sugary drinks or drinks that can stain such as tea, coffee and red wine.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for a proper check-up and to discuss any issues you are having.
  • See a hygienist every 6 months or so for a thorough teeth clean as this can help to prevent decay, gum disease and tooth loss.
  • Avoid bad habits such as chewing on hard objects like pen lids, biting your nails or crunching on ice as this can damage your teeth.