Grooming Editor

Oral Care: Fresh Breath and Sparkling Teeth

Oral Care: Fresh Breath and Sparkling Teeth

If the British are famous for one thing (apart from Fish and Chips and a fondness for irony) it’s dodgy teeth. So famous in fact that it’s a grooming faux pas dubbed ‘English mouth’ in America. So if you don’t fancy a set of nashers like Austin Powers you’d better brush up on some basic mouth management with our oral care guide!

To Start With, Get Flossing!

Regular flossing is one of the best ways to prevent bad breath, plaque and gum disease, yet only 1 in 10 of us bother to do it, probably because it’s so fiddly. The best way to learn how to do it is to ask your dentist for instructions on your next check-up but here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Take a piece of floss about the length of your inner arm, and wind around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving a piece about 3 cm in length between. Then start flossing at the back of your mouth, gently sliding the floss between each tooth and curve it around so the floss forms a letter ‘c’ shape around the tooth.

2. Using a fresh section of floss for each tooth, run the floss up and down the side of each tooth, making sure you go below the gumline. Your gums will probably bleed a little at first but will soon get used to the flossing. Repeat the whole process at least twice a week.

The second crucial step to better teeth is brushing. It’s something we take for granted and while most of us do brush twice a day, few of us actually brush for the dentist-recommended two minutes each time. This is the optimum time required for cleaning so it’s worth timing yourself (or buying an electric toothbrush with a built in timer). If you’re after bright, sparkling teeth use a tooth-whitening toothpaste like Marvis Whitening Toothpaste is essential. It’s the perfect way to remove day-to-day stains caused by tea, coffee and wine.

It’s also worth taking a long hard look at what you’re drinking. Since tooth enamel is dissolved when the pH in the mouth reaches the ‘critical point’ of 5.5 or below, you can limit erosion and decay by reducing your intake of drinks with a high acid content. That means limiting your intake of fruit juices, herbal teas, fizzy drinks, larger (sorry!) and red wine. It’s also a good idea to avoid brushing straight after drinking acidic liquids too since they’ll have weakened your tooth enamel. If you’re concerned, try chewing some sugar-free gum after drinking. It can help by stimulating the flow of saliva which helps protect teeth and strengthens enamel.

Combating Bad Breath

If you’re even just the slightest bit worried about the state of your breath you should take steps to remedy the problem. According to a British Dental Association survey one in five us reckon it’s the most unattractive feature a person can have. Here are a couple of easy ways to ensure that yours doesn’t resemble a WDM (only much easier to find!)

  • Keep your mouth moist. Saliva is rich in oxygen which makes it the first line of defence when it comes to bad breath because the bacteria that cause the nasty odours prefer anaerobic (oxygen-poor) environments. To improve saliva flow dentists recommend chewing fibrous veg like apples, carrots and celery, drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day and cutting back on alcohol which dehydrates the mouth causing almost instant halitosis.
  • Cut down on dairy products. The bacteria that cause bad breath break down the lactose proteins in milk and cheese to produce sulphurous odours so cutting back on dairy will rob them of their food source.
  • Use a nasal decongestant before going to bed. It’ll help prevent snoring one of the main causes of bad breath in the morning. Having open airways during sleep will help reduce ‘mouth breathing’ and prevent mouth and nasal tissues from drying out.
  • Gargle! Keep breath fresh by gargling every morning with a mouthwash. Not only will this help keep your breath smelling fresh but, if you swish hard enough, will also help dislodge particles of food trapped between your teeth.

Find out more about oral care with our health tips guide below…

 

Grooming Editor

Oral Health Tips With Mankind

Celebrate #NationalKissingDay by ensuring your teeth are in tip top condition! Take a look at these oral health tips from Mankind to find out more.

2016-07-06 08:00:45By Terri



Shannon

Shannon

Features Editor

Throughout my life I've been passionate about film, music and culture from around the globe. I’m here to bring you the latest lifestyle features, from film releases and music, to cocktails and recipe inspiration, keeping you in the loop of all the latest trends worth talking about.