How to keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime

·1-min read

To celebrate National Smile Month, here is some top expert advice for keeping your teeth in a healthy condition.

Ageing is an issue for our smiles as gums recede and teeth are worn down - but this can be mitigated by wearing a retainer every night, according to cosmetic dentist Dr Sahil Patel, Founder of the Marylebone Smile Clinic.

To avoid cavities, Dr Patel suggests you should limit your sugar intake to 3-4 exposures per 24 hours and follow up the sugary treat with a drink of plain water. Also, make sure you use fluoride toothpaste twice a day to keep the cavities at bay.

Similarly, keep your gums healthy by brushing well with a circular electric toothbrush twice daily and maintain good dental hygiene by seeing a dentist and hygienist regularly.

Hypersensitivity is also a problem for many people, and the easiest way to avoid experiencing it is to "avoid extreme temperatures", and "remember our teeth are not really designed for ice cream and boiling coffees". Sensitive toothpastes can also help.

Dr Patel's other advice includes drinking carbonated beverages and fruit juices through a straw, cutting acidic foods - like apples and oranges - into smaller pieces instead of eating them whole, and avoiding habits like sucking your thumb or biting pens. Try to instil in children that they should not do this as habits can be tough to break.

Sporting types are also advised to wear a mouthguard - even in sports where this is not compulsory as you never know when a blow might come to the face.

Follow all these principles and your winning smile will last much, much longer than National Smile Month!

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