Wedding Smile Tip: Begin With Healthy Teeth And Gums
This is an excerpt from our special report, “A Canberra Bride’s Guide To A Beautiful Wedding Smiles”. Download the complete report here.
It’s important to visit your dentist regularly to have your teeth, gums and mouth examined. This is the backbone of preventive dentistry, and one of the keys to enjoying lifelong good oral health. That’s because it’s generally less expensive and time-consuming to prevent dental disease from developing at all, rather than having to treat well-established disease conditions.
It is during a routine dental checkup that your dentist will (among other things) perform an oral cancer screening, check teeth for signs of decay, acid erosion or wear and tear, check that your gums are healthy, use x-rays to determine whether cavities are developing in difficult to see places, and suggest effective techniques for keeping the plaque away from your teeth.
Brides-To-Be should schedule a check-up appointment well in advance of their wedding, and book in for a professional cleaning within two weeks of their wedding.
This is a simple health activity that is effective in preventing dental disease but that is often overlooked. It is surprising that many Australians only spend 30 seconds or less brushing their teeth each day, according to the Australian Dental Association.
Brushing for four minutes a day doesn’t just help you to prevent decay, gum disease, dull teeth and unpleasant odours: it can have a positive impact on your general health as well. There are strong links between oral health and overall health, so it is important to take great care of your teeth.
It doesn’t matter if you use an electric toothbrush or a manual one, as long as you use it to thoroughly clean all of the outer, inner and top surfaces of every tooth. A little fluoride-containing toothpaste provides the ‘detergent’ that helps to loosen plaque and makes the experience taste and smell great.
Your dental team advises you to floss for a very good reason—the tight spaces between your teeth hold food particles and dental plaque (bacteria) out of reach of your toothbrush. The longer the bacteria and food remain undisturbed between your teeth, the more likely it is that you will develop cavities and gum disease between your teeth.
If there are tricky places to floss between your own teeth, you might need to learn some special techniques, so ask your dentist or hygienist for some advice.
One of the reasons people don’t floss is because they simply forget- it’s not a well-established habit. A quick and easy way to remember to floss is to set a reminder or an alert, perhaps using your smartphone. Or you can remind yourself the old-fashioned way by sticking a note on the bathroom mirror.
Make sure flossing is an established habit well before your wedding. Your gums are often a visible part of your smile, and they need to look great too!
Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months
Brushing your teeth is your first defence against oral health problems. It is important to know whether your equipment—the toothbrush—is doing its job to clean your teeth and remove plaque. One way to ensure your toothbrush will effectively help you maintain good oral hygiene is to look after it properly.
The Australian Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrush or brush head at least every three months.
Why not pack new brushes for your honeymoon, and use the 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-month anniversary of your Wedding Day as the time to renew them?
In Australia we often consume alcoholic beverages during times of celebration. Weddings are no exception to this rule, from the sparkling wine for the wedding toast to the open bar at the party. The lead-up to a wedding can also be paved with celebrations that include alcohol.
We don’t need to speak too much about the obvious dangers of drinking alcohol in excess: many a poor decision has been made under the influence of alcohol, and too many grooms have lost eyebrows or their dignity during alcohol-infused joviality.
It’s important to know that alcohol and binge drinking can also threaten oral health, in several ways. Many alcoholic drinks contain sugars, which can cause dental plaque to grow, ultimately causing tooth decay. Many drinks are acidic, so erosion (and permanent loss) of tooth enamel is a risk. And there is a strong link between excessive alcohol use and cancers of the head and neck.
Enjoy alcohol in moderation, and beware the staining effects of red wines in the lead up to your wedding day.
Check out our special report, “A Canberra Bride’s Guide To A Beautiful Wedding Smile”. Click here to download the full guide.