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April 27, 2022

I'm a Dentist, and This Is My Oral Health Routine

I'm a Dentist, and This Is My Oral Health Routine
A guide to your best smile by Dr Valence Roberts, Principal Dentist at the award-winning clinic Cosmetic Avenue – Melbourne's surgical and non-surgical route to the most confident you.

Would you trust a dentist with bad teeth? Probably not! So, as the Principal Dentist at the award-winning clinic Cosmetic Avenue in Melbourne, it’s important for me to have good teeth and a great smile. Hi, I’m Dr. Valence Roberts and this is my oral health routine.

It all starts with a daily commitment to brushing your teeth properly – twice daily

Many people think they are doing a great job at brushing their teeth, but it really comes down to the technique you use and making sure you have a good toothbrush. Brush at least twice a day for two-to-three minutes. You don’t want to become obsessed and brush for too long because this can cause its own set of problems like gum recession, so up to three minutes should give you time to do a good job. Electric toothbrushes do a great job at removing plaque and some models even come with a timer. They are also good for those who suffer from arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you have a stock standard manual toothbrush, opt for one with a soft bristle, as enthusiastic cleaning with hard bristles for too long can result in enamel erosion and gum recession. The brush should be held at a 45° angle, and don’t forget the chewing surfaces and your tongue.

I only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste

You’ve probably been pre-conditioned to think you need a ribbon of toothpaste the length of your toothbrush. If that’s the case, you’ve been watching too many toothpaste commercials. I use a pea-sized amount. For children, keeping in line with the Australian Dental Association, you don’t need to use toothpaste until they are more than 18 months old.  If they do use it, make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste. For children under 7 without decay, I recommend rinsing after brushing.  

I floss before brushing and in between meals

In a survey conducted by Spotlight Oral Care, 97% of people admitted they would floss more if it were easier. Flossing is an important part of my oral health routine. Some people floss before brushing – that way, when you brush, it gets rid of any debris dislodged when flossing.

I personally floss after brushing as my final touch. But the message is: just floss! 

The type of floss you use comes down to personal preference. If you find your teeth don’t have a lot of room between them, you might find it easier to use waxed floss or ribbon floss, but this generally isn’t as effective as braided floss. 

I drink lots of water and rinse my mouth after coffee

Drink lots of water – it can help rinse away some of the residues that stick to your teeth between eating. I tend to stay away from sugary or acidic drinks. Tea and coffee can also take their toll on your teeth by staining them, so if you can’t live without them, follow up with a glass of water or an apple.

I eat apples and crunchy vegetables

Speaking of apples, this classic fruit is a great way to help clean your teeth between meals or when you don’t have access to a toothbrush. Apples and carrots are great for helping reduce plaque as you crunch away. Carrots are also great for gingivitis (gum disease). But even apples and carrots have natural sugar, so ideally a quick rinse after them helps, too. 

I try to avoid foods, drinks, and bad habits like smoking—they stain your teeth

Smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and red wine, and eating dark berries, such as blackberries, cherries, and blueberries, can stain your teeth – so can certain sauces, such as curries and turmeric. You can still eat them, but simply try and be mindful that the less contact they have with your teeth, the better. Be sure to drink water and rinse your mouth after consumption.

Every six months, I book six-monthly check-ups with MY dentist

Yes, even dentists have to book regular check-ups with their dentists – at least twice a year, unless your dentist recommends more regular visits due to gum disease or other dental issues. While you’re there, make sure you ask for a professional clean to reach those areas that you may miss with a toothbrush.

Occasionally, I’ll get my teeth whitened

For a longer-lasting white that you can’t achieve by toothpaste alone, Philips Zoom teeth whitening treatments may enhance your smile. It only takes 45 minutes, and your teeth can be up to eight shades whiter. Cosmetic Avenue can connect you with a practitioner to let you know if you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening. They also carry out Invisalign and porcelain veneers.

Ready to take the next step towards getting whiter teeth? For more information or to book an appointment, check out Cosmetic Avenue.

If you liked this article, you might like our feature about boosting your confidence with simple changes.

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