Secret to the perfect smile:
Turns out teeth are pretty important not only to our self esteem but also in finding a mate; “According to a survey we did in conjunction with YouGov, 73% of people said that they look for a nice smile in their ideal partner as opposed to 40% who looked for a good physique!” says Tim Bradstock-Smith, Head Dentist at The London Smile Clinic. “Teeth are fundamental to the structure of the face and therefore extremely important when looking at appearance,” he adds.
Dr David Holmes at Manchester University’s Psychology Department devised a scientific formula for the ‘perfect smile’ which combined face-shape, lip and tooth health as well as confidence. Ok, so you may not have Angelina Jolie’s pneumatic lips and bone structure but the good news is, you can improve on the gnashers you already have.
Believe it or not, contrary to LA circa 1988, whiter is not necessarily better; “The optimum shade in whitening varies; 10 -12 shades gives a great result but some people may only need from 5 to 8 to see a big difference,” says Dr Uchenna Okoye A-list favourite and Cosmetic dentist at www.londonsmiling.com. “The key is to make sure that your smile is not whiter than the whites of your eyes as that’s when it starts to looks fake.” Uchenna adds that there’s definitely been a buck in the trend for uber-white Hollywood pearlies and that these days it’s more about creating natural-looking smiles rather than going for fast-fix (and eye-wateringly expensive) veneers.
* A first to the UK market - Rapid White Disolving Tooth Whitening Strips, (£22, for 28 strips from Boots), whiten teeth up to 4 shades in 7 days with a non-peroxide formula which also helps control plaque and freshen breath.
*Pearl Drops Beauty Sleep, (RRP £3.49, 20ml) uses Liquid Calcium TM Technology and active oxygen to whiten, restore tooth enamel and protect the radiant, youthful look of your teeth and gums as you sleep.
* Failing that, go for blue-based lipstick shades to cheat the look of whiter teeth.
Mind the gap:
Gap-toothed beauties such as Lara Stone and Georgia Jagger have changed the way people view their ‘imperfections’. “We’ve definitely noticed that people are embracing their own teeth more following the success of celebrities such as Lara flaunting their teeth quirks.
The ‘Hollywood Smile’ isn’t as popular anymore - now it is all about the ‘21st Century Smile’, which all about having natural, healthy-looking teeth with a little more character,” says Tim. An observation echoed by Antonia Paolella of The Gentle Dentist in London’s Covent Garden. “It’s unusual for patients to ask for gaps to be put in but we are often asked to keep characterful anomalies, particularly a ‘lucky’ central diastema (space between the central incisors!)”
Dentistry has finally caught on to the fact that we (and our teeth) come in all shapes and sizes; “each smile is totally unique to the individual and this is where ‘bespoke’ dentistry really comes into it’s own,” says Dr Uchenna who takes into account her patients skin tone, hair colour, face shape and even personality when it comes to designing a smile.
Us Brits are also far more likely to persevere with braces to keep the natural character of our teeth than our cousins across the pond. “Here at The Gentle Dentist we’ve always advocated non- invasive techniques to put teeth in the right place rather than mutilate them as we feel it’s far more flattering to keep the teeth in harmony with the facial skeleton and the anatomy of the facial tissues,” says Antonia. “We believe passionately in minimally invasive dentistry. Not only is it better for the long-term health of the teeth but it also avoids the inevitable (huge) replacement bills later on.”
So how to make the most of your gnashers and amp up your smile? It’s all about keeping your mouth healthy (time to dig that floss out from the back of your bathroom cabinet then!).
“Although tooth tissue is relatively ‘stable,’ acid and sugar will dissolve enamel and dentine leading to decay and erosion,” warns Antonia. “And even if you think you’re being good with what you eat, modern ‘healthy’ diets are generally not healthy for teeth as they tend to be very acidic.”
If you want to keep your teeth in tip-top condition, Antonia recommends avoiding fizzy drinks, (including carbonated water), fruit juice and smoothies, hot fruit teas, sweetened yoghurts and wine. But before you stifle those yawns; “Us dentists are not kill joys,” she adds. “Anything is allowable as long as it’s in isolation – continually snacking does not give the mouth long enough to buffer the acid although a neutralizing gum can help.”
* Forget brushing, the patented Emmi-dent Ultrasonic toothbrush, (£140 available exclusively at harrods and QVC) is the first toothbrush to use 100% ultrasound (as opposed to electric or sonic toothbrushes which clean abrasively) to destroy plaque, tartar and bacteria (did we mention you don’t need to brush?!). Great for sensitive teeth or gums as well as those with braces, it’s the 2014 way to clean your teeth.
* Inspired by scientific findings in bone repair, REGENERATE Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste (£10), and Boosting Serum, (£30), is the first ever dental care system to tackle erosion claiming to regenerate 82% of your tooth enamel after just three days (and as enamel is responsible for the architecture of the tooth as well as it’s health, it’s a pretty vital component to a perfect smile).
By Cassie Steer