If you have sat watching Love Island wishing your teeth were as straight, white and gleaming as its swimwear-clad stars and thinking about having a smile makeover, then you are not alone.
Since 25-year-old Connor Durman entered the villa with his dazzling pearly whites, Google searches for ‘Thailand teeth’, ‘veneers Thailand’ and ‘Thailand veneers price’ rocketed by 100%, and it’s no surprise when 71% of Brits under 30 think having good teeth is the most attractive trait.
In our selfie-obsessed culture, many people turn to filters and augmented reality to give themselves a digital makeover. However, with Instagram announcing it will be removing all AR filters with plastic surgery effects, and with 30% of Brits saying they are unhappy or very unhappy with their teeth, it makes sense that the global cosmetic dentistry market is growing; it is expected to be worth £25.29 billion by 2026 (Mintel).
Straight, white teeth not only make us feel good, but they also influence perceptions of success, popularity, intelligence, attractiveness and general health.
If you want to achieve all of that, there’s a secret you should know.
The key ingredient for an ‘Insta-perfect’ smile is, first and foremost, good oral health. Surely it can’t be that simple, we hear you cry. But don’t underestimate the power of a healthy mouth says Anna Middleton, founder of London Hygienist (@londonhygienist).
If you think of your smile as being like a swanky beach-side villa, then your oral health is its foundations, what holds it all together. And if you are considering having teeth whitening or getting veneers, then you have to make sure your oral health is up to scratch first, says Anna, who is one of the most sought-after dental hygienists in London.
Cosmetic dentistry is a huge investment and if your oral health is not good, then your results may not last and, worse still, you may not be able to have the treatment you want. So it all starts with a trip to the hygienist.
A hygienist does more than just giving your teeth a good clean. Not only can they assess the health of your mouth, including carrying out essential early-warning mouth cancer checks, but they can also remove unwanted staining that make your teeth look discoloured and bacteria that can cause dental decay and gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to receding gums and tooth loss.
All of that is the opposite of what you want if you are looking for a million-dollar smile.
What’s more, your oral health is linked to overall health, so regular visits to the hygienist can have an impact that extends far beyond your mouth, with possible links to heart disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes and even sex drive.
You can now book to see a hygienist without having to see a dentist first. If you are nervous of the dentist, then taking these steps can be the first line of defence to prevent the need to go for treatments such as fillings.
Visiting the hygienist is nothing to be worried about. In fact, modern technologies and techniques mean the days of the traditional ‘scale and polish’ are gone. Many hygienists in the UK are now using Guided Biofilm Therapy (GBT) for their professional cleaning, transforming the patient experience by providing pain-free and fear-free oral healthcare for all ages.
So, here are Anna’s top tips for keeping your mouth in great shape:
- Brush before breakfast and rinse after
- Choose the right fluoride toothpaste
- Don’t forget to clean between the teeth
- Avoid sugary/acidic foods
- See your dentist/hygienist regularly
- Avoid stain-inducing drinks such as red wine, tea and coffee.