“Following on from my article about teeth and our unhealthy fixation on their outer appearance, I wanted to provide some tips and advice that will allow any of us to at least retain a healthier smile for a very long time.” - Amaan Akhtar
Here are some tips on how to maintain a healthy set of teeth. Although each of these tips may require meticulous care and effort on a daily basis, I encourage anyone to try at least a couple, in order to keep your teeth naturally healthy.
1. Firstly, brush a minimum of twice a day and try to floss regularly (usually after a meal). Also, when you consume highly acidic foods and drinks, wait half an hour before brushing to get rid of acid attached to the surface of your teeth.
2. Make it a priority to schedule regular cleaning and check-up appointments with your dentist, as they will be able to quickly fix any unforeseen dental issues that may lead to a more severe problem in the future.
3. This might be difficult to do…but try to limit smoking, as well as certain eating and drinking habits (I.e. dark chocolate, tea/coffee, red wine, soft drinks, dark berries). And when you do succumb to temptation (which is completely understandable!), make sure to brush right after or swish a little water in the mouth to prevent external staining.
4. However, if you really need to appear your best very quickly for that important date or interview, maybe invest in one of the toothpastes designed to provide a temporary whitening effect - but use it sparingly, as you should not need to rely on it.
5. If you are adamant on using a “quick-fix” teeth whitening method, please do your research on the technique you think will best suit your needs (but avoid using home bleaching kits if possible). When you make this choice, always go to the dentist first for a check up to make sure it is safe for you to apply the treatment.
6. If you choose to undergo the commitment of professional bleaching, make sure to only carry out touch ups with your dentist a maximum of once/twice a year (every 4-6 months). Also, right after bleaching, avoid the aforementioned food, drink and smoking habits above for at least 24 hrs, so the pellicles have a chance to reform and you don't ruin your teeth immediately.
Whilst this is an exhaustive list, try to incorporate at least one or two into your daily routine – as they will provide a great benefit to the healthiness of your teeth. We should acknowledge and accept, that just like our bodies, everyone has their own unique set of teeth. Whilst we still may care about how they appear to ourselves and everyone else, the only thing that matters is their health. We can only retain that if we treat our teeth respectfully with care and attention; which will ultimately allow them to appear brighter and more durable than ever before.