How To Turn Back Time On Your Teeth

How To Turn Back Time On Your Teeth

Taking time to care for our teeth, brushing them properly and eating healthily will pay dividends in the end.

We spend huge amounts of money on products that promise to help keep our skin youthful. We work out to prevent middle-aged spread from taking its toll, and we eat well to keep our bodies sharp. But how often do you devote time or resources to anti-ageing your teeth? Not only do our teeth form the internal structure of our face – which means if we lose them our skin starts to sag dramatically – but their shade and our gums have a huge impact on how young we look, too. Here’s how to make sure your smile doesn’t unfairly age you.

Observe the proper way to brush teeth

“We invest time cleansing and moisturizing our skin every single day,” says Oral-B Smile Director, Dr. Uchenna Okoye. “But on average most people only spend around 75 seconds doing their teeth. The recommended time is two minutes, twice a day – that’s just four minutes out of a 1440-minute day! Surely not too much to ask?”

Think about syncing your dental routine with other parts of your health and beauty regime to encourage yourself to brush for a full two minutes. Apply a quick facemask that has to stay on for two minutes while you brush, or practice your balance by standing on your left leg for one minute and your right for the other. Use a stopwatch or an egg timer to make sure you do the full two minutes. Even if you’re multi-tasking, concentrate on brushing thoroughly.

Use the right tools for clean teeth

“Anti-ageing your smile is all about investing in the right tools,” says Dr. Okoye. She’s right – you wouldn’t try to clean the car with a dirty cloth, or mend it with the wrong size screwdriver. Like many experts, Dr. Okoye is a big fan of electric toothbrushes. “The technology of brushing is seriously smart now,” she says. “Brushes from Oral-B are like having your dentist in your bathroom – it combines motion sensor technology and video recognition using your smartphone's camera to track areas being brushed, how long you’re brushing for and how much pressure you’re applying.”

But dental care doesn’t stop and start with your brush. You need to consider inter-dental care too. “Floss your teeth, using traditional floss, flossing sticks, even mini brushes, and invest in a good whitening toothpaste and a tongue cleaner, too,” says Dr. Okoye.

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Teeth and healthy eating

If you’re a fan of red wine and coffee, chances are it will show on your teeth. “It’s unrealistic to suggest that we can live on an all white diet, but if you want to have a young-looking smile, try to avoid foods that stain,” says Dr Okoye. “Anything that would stain a white shirt will stain your teeth.” And when you consume these foods, have a brush afterwards to prevent them from leaving their mark.

Whiten to brighten

“Whitening your teeth is the most effective way to turn back time,” says Dr. Okoye. “By all means invest in good quality stain removal and whitening toothpastes, but for a really effective result, go to a professional who can advise you on the options available to you.” As well as in-chair whitening procedures, there are also at-home options where, under guidance from your dentist, you can use something such as Crest 3D White Whitestrips that, worn daily over the course of a few weeks, can make teeth four to five shades whiter.

Make the best of the teeth you’ve got

You don’t need to have loads of veneers and expensive braces to upgrade your smile, as Dr. Okoye explains. “Changing your fillings from metal to white instantly brightens your whole mouth. A large metal filling can cast a grey shadow over the whole tooth, so it only takes three or four to darken your smile. If you can’t afford to get them all done, do your bottom teeth first as these are most visible.”

White fillings are made from a composite material (powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base) that is as long-lasting as metal (amalgam) fillings. The material will also be matched to the color and surface of your own teeth. “You’ll need a local anesthetic in the gums, so if there’s a lot to do, opt for two visits and do one side at a time,” advises Dr. Okoye.

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