With 2021 in full swing and the Covid-19 vaccination program well underway, the world is starting to look a little brighter. Whilst it's always great to usher in a new year, perhaps the indulgences of Christmas, coupled with bad lockdown habits, have left you feeling like you need to brush up on (pardon the pun!) looking after your smile.
If so, you're in the right place, because we're exploring how and why you can and should, care for your smile. Don't be disheartened if you feel like you've sidelined your dental health a little – according to research by Floe Oral Care, only 12% of Brits brushed their teeth twice a day last year, so you're not alone.
Look forward, not back, by checking out the advice below, courtesy of the dental experts at Crossways Dental.
A healthy mouth equals a healthier, happier you
A little like the saying 'the eyes are the window to the soul', your mouth is a window into your wider health. In keeping your mouth in tip top shape, you're providing your whole body with the TLC it deserves. Many patients are unaware of the link between good dental health and the rest of the body: did you know that poor dental health can lead to problems like heart disease and diabetes? But don't fret – it;s never too late to change.
Set yourself on the path to healthier teeth and gums by incorporating the following tips at home:
– Swap sugary snacks for savoury and avoid sticky confectionary.
– Enjoy sweet treats at meal times when saliva production is highest. Saliva acts as a natural buffer to reduce the harmful effects sugar has on teeth.
– Invest in an electric toothbrush, which have been proven to be more effective than their manual counterparts, according to the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP), an 11-year cohort study. Be sure to brush at a 45 degree angle, with the bristles cleaning carefully around the gum line.
– Never neglect to brush before bedtime, as this leaves teeth exposed to a build-up of bacteria, which can then feast on your tooth enamel while you sleep. Saliva production decreases at night, leaving your mouth with no defenses against bacteria and without the ability to neutralise the acid levels in your mouth.
– Floss twice a day. When you brush, you're missing out on about a third of your tooth surfaces being cleaned. Flossing removes tenacious food particles lodged between your teeth, helping to keep gum disease at bay and leaving you with fresher breath, both notions supported by dental health experts at News in Health (NIH).
Brighten your smile, and your confidence too
It's fair to say that Zoom has become a great friend to many of us in the past year, allowing us to stay connected to the important people in our lives. One aspect of using video calls that perhaps many of us hadn't prepared for, is how often we would be exposed to staring at our own faces…sound familiar?! If you've been scrutinising your smile on screen, it's possible it might have left you feeling a little self-conscious.
Professional teeth whitening has the potential to be life-changing. This may sound like an exaggeration on the face of it, but smiling is one of the real pleasures in life. What's more, feeling confident and proud of your pearly whites has been said to boost career prospects, wellbeing and mental health.
TOP TIP: Always visit a dentist for teeth whitening treatment. In the UK, teeth whitening can only legally be carried out by a dental professional, with products that are approved for safe usage.
Don't put off those all-important routine appointments
One of the crucial differences between this 2021 lockdown and last year's March lockdown is that dental practices are open for routine appointments in addition to emergency care.
Crossways Dental are committed to stopping the spread of coronavirus and we have employed strict Covid-19 policies to keep patients safe. It's been fantastic to have patients visiting us for routine dentist and hygienist appointments since re-opening the practice as we're big believers in prevention over cure.
To book an appointment, visit: Crossways Dental.