Maintaining healthy, attractive teeth long term

Fundamental oral care guidance from your local Bedford dentist.

Given a choice, no doubt we would all like to have nice looking teeth.

Hopefully our parents gave us a good start and we arrived in adult life with healthy teeth; but even if not, then it’s not too late to correct this, as we will see later.

By and large, how we look after our teeth on a daily basis will help to determine how nice and attractive, or otherwise, they are. In today’s blog, we take a look at how what we do day-to-day, contributes to maintaining our oral health and smile.

Keep them clean!

The most essential thing that you can do for your smile is to make sure that both your teeth and gums are healthy. This can only be done through a combination of a tooth friendly diet, regular brushing and flossing, along with ongoing monitoring during check ups at our Bedford dental practice. This everyday groundwork will lay the foundation for you to have healthy and attractive teeth over the longer term.

Remember too, that decay often starts in the most hard to reach areas. Make sure to take time to brush those areas well. Dental floss should always be used between the teeth, an area that is often affected by tooth decay. Although we do offer almost invisible tooth coloured fillings, it is far better to avoid the need for them in the first instance!

Don’t smoke

If you want to have teeth that stay naturally white for as long as possible, then don’t smoke and guidance to help quit starts here at the NHS website. If you have previously been a smoker, there are ways to rectify that which we will discuss later. Smoking is bad for your teeth in so many different ways, as well as for your general health; for example, not only does it increase the risk of gum disease but will heavily stain your teeth too. Our teeth are not as smooth on the surface as you may think, and tar and other staining substances in tobacco smoke will soon find their way into the tiny spaces on our teeth surface, leaving a discolouration that is very difficult to remove.

Reduce staining food and drinks

The above also applies to foods and drinks that contain staining ingredients. A well known example of this is the tannin in tea and red wine. Most of us will consume at least some of these products as part of our daily diet, and, if we do, brushing our teeth effectively is essential to remove at least most of it.

Watch out for acidic foodstuffs

Acidic food and drinks may not directly stain the teeth but they can cause the enamel to erode, causing tiny pits and cracks in the tooth surface. Even where these are invisible to the naked eye, they will attract stains more readily than teeth that are not affected in this way. Products to keep an eye on include citrus fruits and especially soft drinks, and in particular those which contain large amounts of sugar.

See the hygienist

We have previously mentioned the importance of seeing a dental hygienist regularly, including this blog. In addition to helping you improve your home oral health regimen and cleaning your teeth and gum line to remove tartar (or calculus), there is an unexpected side benefit in that the thorough clean that they provide can remove some of the surface staining that home brushing won’t. Having this treatment done every six months or so is not only a great way to keep teeth and gums healthy, but also helps to retain the whiteness of your teeth for longer.

Teeth whitening and veneers

If you haven’t always maintained your teeth as well as you might have done and now have discoloured teeth, or if they’ve naturally darkened as you have grown older, it is not too late to do something about it.

The cosmetic team at The Dental Centre Bedford have a number of procedures available that can help you achieve a smile to be proud of. The first of these is a teeth whitening procedure which is a non-invasive treatment that is safe and painless and ideal for those with relatively mild discolouration. For those with chipped or cracked teeth, or where they have suffered significant staining, porcelain veneers may well be an ideal solution.

Both of these procedures will require a prior consultation to make sure that your mouth is in otherwise good health and to determine which is the best approach for your own situation. No obligation consultations can be booked by calling the reception team at our Bedford practice on 01234 819868.