5 Ways to brighten your smile this Mother’s day

With Mother’s Day around the corner hopefully something nice has been planned for you. But whether or not it has, we think you deserve to feel your best on the day so we’re sharing seven tips you can use to brighten your smile for that special day.

1 – Eat raw fruits, vegetables and nuts

Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and nuts isn’t just good for your body. These foods can do wonders for your teeth too, though not in the same way. Whereas these foods provide nutrients and vitamins that we all need to be healthy when you chew crunchy members of these food groups they act somewhat like your toothbrush and help remove the plaque and debris that can stain your teeth and cause decay. Thus these are particularly good foods to have for lunch and as snacks.

2 – Rinse your mouth after eating citrus fruits

While we’re on the subject of food, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth after eating citrus fruits and other particularly acidic foods as the acids they contain can degrade the enamel on your teeth, darkening them and making them more susceptible to staining and decay.

3 – Don’t eat dark foods or drink energy drinks

If you want a bright smile, avoid eating dark foods like soy sauce, chocolate and red wine as these will stain your teeth more easily than lighter-coloured foods. We also recommend avoiding energy drinks as these are acidic but don’t provide the same health benefits as citrus fruits. If you really want to drink these things though, the alternative is to use a straw so the liquid bypasses your teeth.

4 – Get a new toothbrush

Many people don’t realise how ineffective their toothbrush is once the bristles get worn. If your toothbrush has seen better days and the bristles are all bent and disordered then it’s time to get rid of it and start using a fresh new brush. This will ensure you can get your teeth really clean, removing all that debris that may be dampening your smile.

5 – Brush your tongue

Once you’ve got a shiny new toothbrush, make sure you brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth and gums. Why does this help? Well, it isn’t just your teeth and gums that accumulate bacteria that can stain your teeth, your tongue is just as good a place for bacteria to hide out. Brushing it will help you eliminate much more of the discolouration-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Happy Mother’s Day!

We hope you enjoyed this early gift and that you have a lovely Mother’s Day.

Caring for your Kids Teeth

Did you know that one in three preschoolers have never been to the dentist?(1) Given the RCH National Child Health Poll showed the same proportion of children don’t brush their teeth enough and 10% have such bad dental decay that they have to have at least one tooth removed before their ninth birthday(1), this is a very worrying statistic. So, with World Oral Health Day on the 20th of March, I thought I’d share some tips on how you can best care for your child’s teeth and hopefully avoid your child having to have any teeth removed.

Babies

One of the best ways to care for your child’s teeth is to start cleaning them very early on. In fact, you can start good oral hygiene practices before your baby’s first tooth erupts. Gently wiping Bub’s gums once a day with a clean, damp piece of gauze or muslin is the way to go and will get Bub used to the teeth cleaning process.

Once your baby’s teeth start appearing, you should switch to brushing twice a day and can start using a toothbrush designed for children. Such brushes have small heads and soft bristles that allow you to reach all areas of the mouth and clean all the areas of gum and teeth without discomfort or causing damage. Your child’s first dentist visit should occur around their first birthday and they should go back for checkups yearly in order to catch any problems before they require treatment. Check if your child is eligible for the government’s free dental care scheme to help with the cost of these visits.

Toddlers

If you live in an area with fluoridated tap water, you don’t need to introduce toothpaste until your toddler is about 18 months old.

You can then start using a smear of age appropriate toothpaste that has lower fluoride content because young children can’t spit the toothpaste out .  You should however encourage your child to try to spit out the toothpaste, so that he/she develops the skill more quickly.

Young children

Young children will be more likely to clean their teeth without fuss if it’s part of their normal routine, they see their parents and carers brushing too and it’s fun. You can make it a more enjoyable experience by singing songs, letting your child choose their own special toothbrush and letting them brush a toy’s teeth while you brush theirs.

Older children

At age six, your child can begin using adult toothpaste but you should continue helping them brush until they’re eight to ensure their teeth are brushed correctly.

All children

Brushing isn’t the only way to care for your child’s teeth. You can also help by:

–    providing a healthy, low-sugar diet

–    providing tap water instead of bottled water (this doesn’t have fluoride in it), fruit juice or other sugary drinks

Genetics

Regardless of your child’s genetics, following the above tips will prevent dental decay and ensure your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible.