News & blogs Blogs and vlogs Valentine's Day 2019: How to achieve a healthy smile 14 February 2019 A smile regularly tops the list of most desired features when looking for a new partner. Despite this, so many people don’t have the confidence to show theirs. In fact, a nationwide poll has recently revealed that more then half of Brits (51%) either dislike or are indifferent to their smile. Having an attractive smile is more than what you see in Hollywood movies or on social media. A natural smile is genuine and warm and puts those around you at ease. Don’t believe that cosmetic treatment is the answer to achieving a perfect smile. The best smiles are always the healthiest ones. Here is our list of essential advice for having great oral health. By doing these, you can feel reassured about your smile and be able to show it off with confidence both on Valentines Day and beyond. Brush happy The simplest, yet most important part of any oral health routine. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste helps to keep your teeth healthy and decay free. Brushing regularly will also help prevent bad breath and can also help your teeth appear whiter by removing stains. There are no excuses for not brushing twice a day, especially when it can help set you on the route to love. Interdental brushing Manual and electric toothbrushes clean most parts of your teeth, but not all of them. There are some areas where toothbrushes struggle to reach – like in between your teeth. By not cleaning the areas in between your teeth, it allows food and other debris to get stuck in them. This does not only look off-putting, it also encourages plaque to build-up too. Plaque build-up can lead to gum disease which in turn can lead to halitosis (bad breath). A guaranteed mood killer. By using interdental brushes daily, you can wear your smile with confidence. Sugar free chewing gum Chewing sugar-free gum helps protect your teeth and gums in between meals when it may not be possible to brush with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Your teeth are more at risk of acid attack after you have eaten. The acid is produced by plaque bacteria, and the sugars in our food and drink, and it slowly dissolves away the enamel and dentine of the tooth to produce a hole or ‘cavity'. You can reduce this acid attack by chewing sugar-free gum, as it helps the mouth to produce more saliva – the mouth's natural defence against acid. Saliva helps to remineralise your teeth and reduce acidity levels in your mouth. Watch what you eat and drink It is better for your teeth and general health if you eat three meals a day instead of frequently having seven to ten snacks. If you do need to snack between meals, choose foods that do contain low amounts or no sugar such as nuts or cheese. Also, be aware of what you are drinking. Drinks like coffee and red wine will stain your teeth if you don’t keep on top of your brushing. Furthermore, sugary drinks will damage your teeth and can encourage dental erosion and decay. By choosing a glass of milk or water over a glass of coke you’ll avoid your teeth undergoing a sugar-attack and help keep your teeth healthier and whiter, both of which will greatly improve your smile. If you do have a sugary drink, try and restrict it to mealtimes. This reduces the number of sugar attacks throughout the day. For anymore information on any of the topics discussed above you should check out our A – Z of oral health information. Alternatively, you could call our Dental Helpline on 01788 539780 and get free advice from one of our professionally-trained dental advisors.