Your pearly whites are your best accessory and tell a great deal about your overall health, so it’s important to learn how to properly care for your teeth and gums. Dr. Pia Oparkcharoen from Docklands Dental Studio has advice for how to best look after your smile for years to come.

Is there a correct way to brush teeth?

One of the correct techniques is called modified bass technique and we normally show it to our patients during check-ups. I recommend patients place their toothbrush at 45 angle to the gum line and use a gentle vibration motion with their toothbrush, rolling it down for upper teeth and brushing up for lower teeth.

How should people select their toothbrush?

Look for a small brush head that suits your mouth with straight brush tufts that can get into the small areas around your teeth for a better clean. We recommend a soft toothbrush will clean your teeth effectively without damaging your gums.

Is chewing gum good or bad for you?

Chewing gum with xylitol is considered to be a healthy choice, particularly after lunch. Chewing gum keeps teeth clean between brushing and stimulates saliva in patients with dry mouth, which can help fight bad breath and bacteria. However, if we chew too often, it can over-stimulate muscles required for chewing and it may lead to jaw problems.

Can food stain your teeth?

It is known that high tannin beverages, such as tea, coffee and red wine, can stain our teeth. In particular, espresso is composed of carbon dioxide molecules that stick to our teeth easily. Drinking water after a cup of tea, coffee or red wine can reduce this staining. Scheduling a regular check-up and clean every six months is the best way to reduce staining. Tooth whitening is also an option to brighten your tooth colour.

What should we look for in a mouthwash?

Look for an Australian dental association recommended mouthwash without alcohol, which can be identified by the ADA approved label.

What’s the best practice for dental hygiene?

I would say the best practice is to look after your oral health by selecting the right toothbrush, brushing your teeth twice a day, using dental floss once a day, and visiting your dentist for a general check up every six months. This routine and preventive care can help to eliminate more painful and expensive procedures in the future.