Dentist gives her top tips for keeping your teeth healthy at home

woman perfect teeth
Actually impress your dentist upon next visit with these at-home teeth tips. Photo credit: Getty.

There were many things that fell through the cracks during lockdown: haircuts, beauty treatments, various forms of hair removal...

But while you've probably rushed to book yourself in for all of the above, you may have forgotten one of the most important aspects of your body - your teeth. 

Book yourself in for a checkup, but in the meantime, there are steps you can take to make sure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible until you next see a professional. 

Dentist Dr Kamala Aydazada shares her top tips with us.

Check your diet

"As hard as this may sound, try to have better control over your diet, and limit frequent snacking of acidic and sugary foods and drinks during the day," advises Dr Kamala. "These substances can weaken the outer layer of your tooth, making it easier for them to become damaged by brushing; running the risk of tooth decay. 

"Keep these to mealtimes, and try to opt for healthier snacks such as cheese, veggies, crackers between meals if you're hungry."

Dr Kamala also recommends drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum to clean the surface of your teeth after eating, and avoiding brushing your teeth within 30 or 60 minutes of a meal, especially if you've eaten acidic foods.

Don't attempt DIY plaque removal

"It is likely that a considerable amount of dental plaque may have accumulated around your teeth during lockdown - a time where there's been very limited dental care available," says Dr Kamala. "It is important to not try and dislodge the plague with sharp objects in an attempt to perform DIY dentistry at home. This is likely to cause trauma to both tooth and your gum."

To keep the plaque at bay, make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly for at least two minutes twice a day - first thing in the morning and before you go to bed - and pay particular attention to where your gums meet your teeth. Also use dental floss and interdental brushes every day to reach those hidden areas between the teeth.

Avoid whitening products

"I would encourage you to not use any whitening toothpaste, strips or other similar products before you're able to seek advice from your dentist. These products are often highly abrasive to the surface of your teeth, may irritate the gums and can cause irreversible damage," she warns.

However, you can limit the staining by eating less dark-coloured foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, and red wine.

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