The Perfect Smile
How to keep your pearly whites bright and your smile in tip-top condition
With new products, dental procedures and hygiene advice coming thick and fast, it can be difficult to know what you should be doing to protect and perfect your smile…
Most in-clinic treatments use hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient to whiten. This penetrates the outer layer of the enamel to lighten the shade of the tooth. Results should last around two to four years and will depend on the thickness of your enamel.
According to Dr Richard Marques of Wimpole Street Dental, who has the likes of Rita Ora on his celebrity client list, some people swear by swilling coconut oil for whiter teeth or use activated charcoal to remove stains, but while both can produce minor results, professional teeth whitening and hydrogen peroxide is the most effective method. Fillings, bridges, crowns and implants will not whiten and may need to be replaced to match your new shade of whitening following a procedure.
To maintain a fresh set of pearly whites avoid foods and drinks that cause staining such as red wine, tea and coffee, says Dr Nik Sisodia from Ten Dental Facial. “It is also important to avoid excessive consumption of acidic food and drinks such as citrus fruits, hot water with lemon, and wine, as these erode the tooth enamel. In time the layer of enamel can be so thin that the teeth actually start to appear darker as the underlying dentine, which is darker, starts to show through,” Nik adds. Other tips include always drinking fruit juices and smoothies through a straw. Balsamic vinegar is also particularly detrimental as it is highly pigmented and full of acid so will stain and cause erosion.
To help maintain good oral health, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. It is best to brush before breakfast and drink a glass of water after you eat anything acidic to flush away lingering acid.
While some patients focus on the colour of their teeth, others may be troubled by an uneven smile. Dr Aoife Boland of The Wimbledon Dentist says painfree straightening has come a long way. “Having teeth straightened has become faster, more invisible and with minimal ‘old fashioned’ dentistry involved. We use Invisalign, a system of almost invisible clear plastic trays that fit very snugly over your own teeth. Each week those trays are changed to be tighter in certain spots and the teeth move as a reaction to these gentle pressures,” explains Aoife.
For simple cases, Aoife says Invisalign can work in three months with the average treatment time at The Wimbledon Dentist around nine months. Patients can have their teeth whitened at the same time.
IN THE DENTIST’S CHAIR
Dental Rooms has been in Wimbledon Village for 14 years. Here Dr Dev Patel explains how implants can help create the perfect smile.
What are implants?
Dental implants solve the age-old problem of missing teeth safely and predictably. They not only improve the look of your smile, but can also improve the look of the whole facial appearance by preventing bone loss and resulting sagging skin.
Are they like normal teeth?
Yes, they look and function like natural teeth and are set straight into the jaw, so there are no additional supports, adhesives or dental creams required. Current records show implants can last around 25 years.
How does it work?
In straightforward cases, it takes about one hour under local anaesthetic. In some cases, a temporary tooth, or teeth, is placed in. The implant is left to bond with the bone and the gum to heal for between three and six months. The permanent ‘tooth/teeth’ or cosmetic crowns are then fitted. We understand the impact a smile can have.
We would never send you out without a complete smile. Usually, we will fit you with a temporary bridge (which looks identical to your natural teeth and functions just as well) before adding your permanent denture six months later.
Can you replace several teeth?
Yes. There is even a procedure, called ‘Teeth in a Day’, which allows you to have a full set of teeth with only four implants.