Will you be bagging a new man in time for Valentine's Day with your captivating smile? Well, only if your mouth is healthy you will be.

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

Our smile is often the first thing people notice about us and is a focal point of our face. We all want to ensure that our teeth and gums stay healthy and this can be done easily by watching what you eat and drink and practicing good dental hygiene.

There are lots of simple things you can adopt into your everyday routine that will make a big difference to your oral health.

Here, Sameer Patel, Clinical Director at award-winning, highly specialist dental and orthodontics practice, elleven (www.ellevendental.com), offers his top tips on how to keep your mouth healthy…

1. Floss - Flossing is so important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Effective flossing will remove small pieces of food that get trapped in between your teeth. If this is left, it will turn into plaque which in turn, will act as a place that bacteria can breed, causing erosion of the tooth enamel. Try to floss a couple of times a week and you will really notice a difference in the health of your teeth and gums!

2. Neutralise Acid - Chewing gum helps to clean teeth mechanically by removing debris and stimulating the production of saliva, which increases your saliva’s ability to neutralize acid and remineralise your enamel, ultimately strengthening teeth. Make sure you choose a sugar-free gum and if it has whitening properties, even better!​

3. Eat your way to healthy teeth- There are a number of different foods that are can help keep the enamel strong. Enamel is very similar to bone and can be kept strong with calcium so make sure you eat plenty of milk and yoghurt. Not only will it strengthen teeth, some believe that it can also improve the natural whiteness of the tooth enamel. Eating popcorn is also great for teeth. For the times that you have just eaten and can’t brush your teeth after, try eating plain popcorn. The texture of the popcorn acts as natural toothbrush and will remove some of the harmful bacteria you may have eaten during your meal.

4. Sugar- Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth but did you know that there is lots of hidden sugars in foods that are considered to be healthy? You may be surprised to hear that bread contains a lot of sugar as do low fat alternatives such as low fat yoghurts and ready meals. Always read the label on food packaging and look for alternatives with less sugar.

5. Wash away the stains – Water is not only essential for overall wellbeing, it is also vital for great oral health. Water acts as a natural cleaner and has the power to wash away bacteria and residue left on the teeth after eating so be sure to drink a glass of water after every meal. Drinking water will also keep your mouth hydrated, enabling you to produce saliva which also contains natural acids to breakdown food and bacteria in the mouth.

6. Brush your teeth- It may be obvious but you may be surprised by how many people don’t brush their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth removes stains, plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums, plus toothpaste that contains fluoride will help keep the enamel in your teeth strong. Make sure you change your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months.

7. Mouthwash- Mouthwash is a great way to keep your breath fresh but most importantly, it cleans your whole mouth, something of which your toothbrush can’t do. Try to use mouthwash on a weekly basis and you will really see the difference!

8. ‘H’ for Hygiene – Regular hygienist appointments at least twice a year will help to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Using new technology, the hygienist will be able to clean your teeth thoroughly with special polish. This polishing technique uses high pressure air and water and a specially-formulated powder which can help restore teeth to their natural colour by removing external stains such as those caused by coffee, tea, red wine and daily living and remove hard plaque.

9. Quit smoking- Lifestyle choices can also influence a natural white smile with smoking being one of the biggest causes of teeth decay and discolouration. The nicotine and tar in the cigarette result in teeth darkening, losing their natural white and long term, will rot the tooth. Smoking can cause teeth to turn yellow over a very short period of time and years of smoking can even turn teeth brown. To stop this from happening, the answer is simple- stop smoking. Plus it will improve your overall health dramatically.

10. See the light- Dark coloured foods are a notorious for causing discolouration in the naturally white teeth enamel. The best thing to do is try to avoid these foods and drinks such as coffee, balsamic vinegar and red wine, but if you do want to treat yourself, drink a glass of water after as this will help minimise staining. This will make your teeth look healthier, creating a gorgeous naturally white smile.

11. Regular check-ups- Regular visits to the dentist should be a priority when looking after your teeth. The dentist will be able to examine your mouth thoroughly and will be able to pick up on any small problems that if left untreated, could turn into more significant issues.

12. Straighten up your smile- Did you know that straighter teeth are easier to keep clean reducing the risk of long term gum disease and dental decay? With the latest technology you can now have a brace that is discreet and virtually invisible. Remember there is no age limit for braces so what are you waiting for?!

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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