By Dr Kamila Azimova, celebrity dentist with over 10 years of experience.
Here are my top tips for a super smile.
1. Attend regular dentist appointments
Our mouths contain tell-tale signs which can reveal everything from poor diet, to stress, to pregnancy. Many people think they should only see a dentist when they’ve got toothache or a problem in their mouth, but this is definitely not the case. Maintaining regular dentist appointments is vital to oral health as well as your overall health in general. A dental examination can reveal problems with everything from your bones and heart, to your digestion and cancer. It can help to identify these problems early in order to get treatment fast.
2. Clean between your teeth
Cleaning between the teeth with either flossing or Waterpik, a portable electric appliance that uses a stream of water under force to remove food particles from between the teeth is a good way to maintain oral health, reduce cavities and gum disease.
Sometimes when you floss teeth, particularly at the back, it can smell bad. This means food particles have become trapped between the teeth or in the gum and have begun to rot. The smell is the sulphur gas produced by the rotting. If it persists or comes with any other symptoms such as pain or discomfort see your dentist for an expert opinion.
3. Always choose a toothpaste with fluoride
Generally the biggest concern will be with an increase in tooth decay. An increase in sugary snacks and alcohol for many people will result in damage to the tooth enamel and decay. Fluoride toothpaste helps to repair the teeth in the first stage of decay, when the damage is only
produced in the enamel of the tooth. If the decay has penetrated deeper then a filling may be required, or in severe cases a root canal filling or tooth extraction.
4. Ditch manual and use an electric toothbrush
Electric toothbrush bristles vibrate or rotate to help you remove plaque buildup from your teeth and gums. The vibration allows for more micro-movements every time you move your toothbrush across your teeth. A timer built into an electric toothbrush can help you brush your teeth long enough to sufficiently remove plaque from your teeth and gums while others have colour indicators which ensure that you’re brushing your teeth with the right pressure.
5. Teeth whitening can make a huge difference
Teeth whitening has become extremely popular in recent years and can impact a smile hugely. The teeth whitening process begins with an assessment for the shade of your teeth. Then a custom tray is made to fit snugly over your teeth and a bleaching agent is inserted into the custom tray that transfers it onto your teeth. Boutique Whitening and Enlighten is a professional teeth whitening system that can only be prescribed by a qualified dentist.
The whole process is designed to fit in with your lifestyle so each treatment plan is individualised. Some patients prefer a system that relies on one-hour of treatment each day while others are working and prefer an overnight treatment instead. For patients with sensitivity a special toothpaste is prescribed which reduces sensitivity.
Typically you can expect teeth whitening to last from six months to two years, although on some occasions it’s believed to have lasted up to ten years. Once you have your custom trays you can re-use these and just top up the gel as and when you need it.
6. Composite bonding can help to improve the shape of your teeth
Composite bonding is an increasingly popular cosmetic dental treatment that is used to improve the shape, colour and overall appearance of patients’ teeth. It uses the same resin material used for white fillings, and is most frequently used on the front teeth – those that show when you smile.
There have been huge advances in the materials used in bonding dentistry in recent years, meaning composite bonding can be used for disguising minor imperfections in the front teeth, closing small gaps and hiding minor tooth rotations, with no damage to your teeth.
Composite bonding is a pain-free experience that requires, in most cases, just one visit to the practice. Your dentist will be able to choose a shade of resin that closely matches the colour of your teeth, meaning that the results will look entirely natural. The resin is applied to your teeth, and the dentist then carefully shapes it to hide any imperfections. Once it’s been shaped it can be hardened using a special light. Although composite bonding doesn’t last as long as veneers, it can be a cost-effective solution that can be repeated with no damage to teeth.
7. Straight teeth aren’t just nice to look at
Teeth alignment isn’t just about your teeth looking good. Making sure your teeth are properly aligned helps keep them healthy and helps prevent future problems. For one, straight teeth are easier to clean and therefore less prone to decay and gum disease. That means you’re less likely to need expensive procedures like root canals, implants or gum surgery in the future. Treatments such as Invisalign gently moves your teeth with a series of transparent, BPA-free, medical-grade aligners. Since Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, you can correct your smile without anyone knowing. You also remove the aligners to eat and brush your teeth, which you cannot do with traditional braces.
8. Veneers can close small gaps
Veneers are a good treatment for teeth that are stained, chipped or not aligned on top of each other. They look natural and don’t require a major procedure. They can also be used to close small gaps when braces aren’t suitable. Veneers are basically a small tooth-coloured piece of porcelain that is bonded on top of your own tooth. You can have one veneer fitted or a whole set.
About the expert
Dr Kamila Azimova is one of the leading voices within the dental industry and has over 10 years of experience in providing comfortable and long-lasting solutions for teeth and gums, helping people to refresh their smiles and, in many cases, rebuild their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Dr Kamila is now the Principal Dentist at Ascot Aesthetic, the ESCD Country Chairwoman and founder of ADC Group, an education platform training other cosmetic dentists.
Find out more at www.drkamila.co.uk