May 26, 2015

Care for your smile

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Anti-ageing is a much-used term, and covers a gamut of appearance-related issues. But it’s not just wrinkles, grey hair and a poor fashion sense that can add years to your age. The state of your teeth can also contribute to how old you look. Our teeth age in many ways. They become darker because of changes in dentin levels, and they also become drier and more brittle, making them more prone to chips and cracks.

Plaque builds up more quickly and in greater amounts, and gums start to recede, increasing the risk of tooth-root decay. And childhood fillings can fracture or “leak” around the edges, allowing decay-causing bacteria to accumulate in tiny crevices. Ageing aside, there are ways in which we also contribute, and top of the list is poor dental hygiene. Regular check-ups, and in particular six-monthly visits to a dental hygienist, will maintain healthy, good-looking teeth, holding back the years.

Specially trained dental hygienists give patients a full scale and polish, which removes plaque and staining and eliminates oral bacteria, which can lead to gum disease and deterioration of teeth or gums. A dental hygienist also spends time giving in-depth home-care instructions, which include how to floss properly and brush in the correct way to avoid tooth abrasion and provide proper gum cleaning. They will also be able to spot the first signs of bone loss and give full periodontal charting, which is vital for maintaining healthy teeth.

Back to basics

Good oral hygiene is achieved by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day, flossing once a day, and regular check-ups.

The best toothbrush is one with a small head and soft bristles. Electric toothbrushes can also be good, particularly for people who find proper brushing techniques difficult to master. Brushing should take two or three minutes, but your flossing technique is also vital. Take a decent length of floss, make sure it is tightly wrapped around and locked onto the middle finger of each hand, then floss using a gentle sawing motion against the sides of your teeth.

Seeing a dentist regularly can avert potential problems. Don’t wait for something to happen before going. Don’t hesitate to call should you have any questions, we would be more than happy to help.