IT'S THE WEEKEND: Shopping with Keiligh Baker - Keeping your teeth sparkling white

First published in News

THE importance of oral hygiene cannot be overlooked.

From making the right first impression, talking to your boss or chatting someone up in the pub, mossy teeth and halitosis-breath are not going to make life easy for you.

Not just that, but there are sound medical reasons to keep your pearly-whites in good condition – not looking after your teeth, tongue and gums can result in dental cavities, gingivitis, gum disease and tooth decay.

Of course, we can’t all afford expensive dental treatments that leave with you with a sparkling pair of gnashers a la Hollywood’s A-listers – but not brushing your teeth on the reg could prove detrimental to your personal and professional life.

There are cheap and effective fixes out there to ensure no matter how wonky your smile, you can still charm the pants off the majority of the public.

Here are my top tips and products to give you a smile worthy of bestowing:

Brush regularly. Twice, if not thrice a day. Sounds ridiculously simple, but its clear some people do not do this most basic of daily tasks.

The best food choices for a healthy mouth include cheeses, chicken, nuts, and milk. These foods protect tooth enamel by providing calcium and phosphorus.

Other food choices include firm/crunchy fruits like apples and pears and vegetables. These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain, and stimulate the flow of saliva (which helps protect against decay by washing away food particles and buffering acid). Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and lemons, should be eaten as part of a larger meal to minimize the acid from them.

The best beverage choices include water, milk, and unsweetened tea. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. f

Products that can help:

1. If you’re not a fan of chewing gum or mints, try Holland & Barrett Breath Check Capsules, £5.89 for 150 capsules. Providing the equivalent of 100mg of fresh parsley seeds per capsule, they enable you to say goodbye to sugary mints and gum. The recommended dosage is two to three capsules after each meal.

2. Also try the UltraDEX Tongue Cleanser, which has been specifically designed to maximise the effectiveness of tongue cleaning and is used and recommended by dentists and hygienists. Around 85 per cent of breath issues can be attributed to the odour causing volatile sulphur compounds found on the surface of the tongue. Tongue scraping can reduce bad breath by 60 per cent more than tooth brushing alone.

The product has two rippled edges to maximise effectiveness and remove odour and plaque-forming bacteria. Regular use can result in a cleaner tongue, fresher breath, heightened taste sensation and a healthier mouth. £3.60 from Boots and Amazon.

3. UltraDEX Recalcifying & Whitening Toothpaste delivers 12 hours fresh breath by instantly eliminating odour-causing volatile sulphur compounds (VSC). The low abrasion formula gently removes organic stains to restore teeth to their natural whiteness and at the same time recalcifies tooth surfaces (rebuilds the protective enamel shield) leaving teeth smoother and less likely to stain. Perfect for daily use or as part of a whitening maintenance programme. Developed for sensitive teeth, this toothpaste is non-foaming and free from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which has been linked in research to recurrent ulcers. £8.15 from Boots and Amazon.

4. The original Radius eco toothbrush is the go-to toothbrush for some of the best smiles in show business, including Miley Ray Cyrus, Steven Tyler, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Sting and Cher. The only toothbrush with designs for both right- and left-handed users is celebrating its 27th birthday this year. It is the very first toothbrush to feature a circular-shaped head, so it distributes pressure but also cleans the sensitive gum tissue, rather than just the teeth. It has a head with 6,500 nylon bristles to help remove plaque and bacteria more effectively. It's ideal for those wearing braces as its premium bristles won’t get stuck. Available from www.mypure.co.uk, £9.99.

5. White Glo Sensitive Forte + is White Glo’s newest and first whitening toothpaste designed especially for people with sensitive teeth. Gentle enough for daily use, the low abrasion formula has fluoride protection against cavities and extra strength whitening properties. Regular brushing with Sensitive Forte + will effectively whiten teeth, protect against plaque and fight tooth decay. Green Tea Super Antioxidants within the advanced formula give fresh breath confidence throughout the day.

The bonus Ultra-Comfort Flosser Toothbrush included with every White Glo Sensitive Forte + has been specially designed to be gentle on sensitive teeth and gums. For on-the-go, White Glo Dental Flosser Toothpicks are included in every pack, perfect to use to clear food particles and plaque from hard to reach spaces between teeth after every meal. Available from Boots, £4.99.

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