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.