Ask the Dentist : What would you recommend for toothbrush and toothpaste?

OMG!  I suck!  It’s been ages since I wrote a dental post but they just aren’t as pretty and as easy to write as beauty products 😛  However, seeing as I didn’t have to work today (Good Friday), I managed to squeeze one in.

The gorgeous Julie at Beauty Snippets asked me a dental-related question last week and I thought that I would make it into a blog post series – Ask the Dentist – because I am one…in case you didn’t know :P.

Question : “Ling Ling, what would you recommend for toothbrush and toothpaste? Curious.”

toothbrushes, toothpastes, recommendations, ask the dentist

So the thing is…my recommendations are totally irrelevant because it is actually up to personal choice and lifestyle on what type of toothbrush and toothpaste you use – BUT just remember these points :-

1.  If using a manual (i.e. non-electric) toothbrush, choose one that has :-

  • Small head (to reach into awkward areas at back)
  • Soft bristles (too hard will wreck the enamel)
  • Angled, tapered neck (to reach into back teeth)

2.  If using an electric toothbrush, choose one that has :-

  • Small head
  • Visible pressure indicator (which will light up if you brush too hard)

3.  As for toothpaste, unless you have allergies, go for a fluoridated toothpaste

  • The minimum fluoride level that I look for is 1000 ppm
  • I, personally, do not advise whitening toothpastes (due to their abrasive nature)
  • Kiddies toothpastes are made for kiddies; not adults!

Products that I have tried and tested and trust are :-

Manual Toothbrushes

  • Colgate 360 Sensitive Pro-Relief : lovely soft brush
  • Colgate 360 Surround : not as soft as the above, but it performs well
  • TePe toothbrushes : small head, but not easily available in shops
  • The BEST Colgate toothbrush EVER from Asia : I didn’t know the name or number of this toothbrush.  I bought it in Asia when I went off travelling and have never found it again.  I actually brought it with me to a dental show and asked a Colgate rep and she looked at me as if I was daft!  Gurrr!  Should totally have reported her for treating me like I was dirt!  HELLO?  I spend a lot of money on Colgate and I recommend them too!

Electric Toothbrushes

  • Oral-B Professional Care 1000 : I lost my electric toothbrush virginity to this baby.  It was love at first brush!  It was THAT good!  In fact, it was so good that my Husband broke his electric toothbrush virginity with this baby and has never looked back!
  • Oral-B Triumph 5000* : I spoke to a few of my dentist friends about electric toothbrushes because we are so interesting that way!  Anyway, for some reason, they all raved about Oral-B Triumph 5000.  I was rather curious myself and a Toothbrush Fairy granted me one of these babies…and then I discovered why my dentist friends loved using it too.  It makes teeth SUPER squeaky clean!  There are some things I don’t like about it…so I may review in more detail in another blog post if there is demand for it.  (Let me know in the comments please)


  • Colgate Total Toothpaste : Just the normal one; not the whitening.  I avoid Colgate Sensitive Toothpaste because I wake up with dog breath!
  • Darlie Original : I think it’s a Hong Kong thing.  I think it could also be racist because they call it “the black man’s toothpaste”.  Was it originally called Darkie…??  Anyway…moving on…

Points to note :-

  • * denotes that this was not purchased by me but I was given it by an Oral-B rep; but it does not affect my opinions whatsoever!  Come on!  Would I sell my soul for a toothbrush?  Like, really?!
  • These are my personal opinions and recommendations.  Do what you want but just remember to brush twice a day!
  • If you don’t know how to brush properly, please read my “How To Brush” post and “How To Floss” afterwards.
  • For electric toothbrushing, it is different to normal toothbrushing…so I will have to cover this issue in another post because I spoke to an Oral Health Educator (oh yes, I did!) and they had a few important things to say about electric toothbrushes.  In short, do not use electric toothbrushes every day.

What toothbrush and toothpaste combo do you use?  And do you have an “Ask the Dentist” question?  Go ahead.  Give me ideas on what to write!  BTW, Happy Easter peeps!!!

How To Tell If You Have Bad Breath

YEUCH!! WTF is that stench?! Someone's got really bad breath!!

It goes without saying that bad breath is a big no-no.  Here are 5 methods to tell if you have bad breath :-

1.  Forget Ass-Licking, it’s all about Wrist-Licking

Lick the inside of your wrist, wave it about in the air like you just don’t care, to dry the patch of saliva and then, smell.

2.  Smell Yo Floss

This method kills two birds with one stone.  First, you floss and then you smell it.

(Don’t know how to floss?  Watch me in action!)

3.  Burst the Bubble

Everybody has their own invisible Bubble.  I am telling you to find a random friend, burst their Bubble, invade their personal space and breathe on them.  If they recoil in disgust, it could be your bad breath or B.O.  Further investigation is required.

However, if you haven’t even burst any Bubbles yet, but you notice that ALL of your friends generally don’t maintain eye contact or turn away slightly when you talk, you have VERY BAD BREATH!  They’re gasping for fresh air and trying not to die from your bad breath!

4.  The Special Nasal Voice

You’ve burst their Bubble and they haven’t been repelled…but you notice that your friend has a special voice reserved only for you.  It’s not the special “sexy” voice…in, they sound like they have a cold when they speak to you.  They are not breathing through their nose.  ‘Nuff said!

5.  Visit Your Dentist

Dentists become immune to bad breath after a while…but if they whack on two masks drenched in menthol / eucalyptus oil to work on you, it means your breath is honking!!

Congratulations if you have passed all these bad breath tests…but the true test is to kiss me and I will let you know!!  LOL!  Just kidding!!  YEUCH!  I have kissed guys with yukky cheesy breath…!  But that’s another story.

If you have discovered that you have bad breath, please do not panic!  And please, do not breathe all over me!  YEUCH!

Let me know if you found this useful and if you want me to do a follow-up post on how to deal with halitosis.

Celebrity Smile Makeovers Part 2

Celebrity Smile Makeovers Part 1 featured Catherine Zeta Jones and Hilary Duff.  Today, we’ve got another two pretty ladies who had their teeth done.  They are Cheryl Cole and Nicola Roberts from the UK band, Girls Aloud.

Smile makeovers can involve a number of dental procedures including teeth whitening, veneers and crowns.  Not many celebrities go down the orthodontic route because they wants results ASAP.

Cheryl Cole Before & After Teeth

Cheryl Cole, Before & After Plastic Surgery, Teeth, Smile Makeover

Before :  Cheryl had peg laterals which means that the teeth next to her central teeth look smaller and pointier…like pegs.  That’s why when she smiles, you can see spaces.  This is often inherited.

After :  Brighter, whiter teeth with veneers (most likely) to alter the shape of the peg laterals.  However, smile makeovers often involve more than 1-2 teeth and it looks like she may have had her top front 6 teeth done.

Nicola Roberts Before & After Teeth

celebrity teeth, before & after

Before :  Nicola’s teeth appear crowded and they are not straight and slope backwards (dental jargon :  Class II division 2 incisor relationship)  This also reminds me of Posh Spice’s teeth.  That’s Victoria Beckham, btw.

After :  Straight white teeth – most likely veneers.

If you have veneers, you have to be careful not to bite into an apple because they can flick off easily.  Like false fingernails.

Anyway, I do like their smile makeovers and the cosmetic dentists did a great job.

So, what do you think of their makeovers?  Would you consider veneers?

5 Beauty Tips For A Visit To The Dentist

Whether you’re going to a dentist for your bi-annual check-up or to get a filling, apart from brushing your teeth beforehand, here are 5 beauty tips for a visit to the dentist :-

1.  Lose the lipstick and lip gloss!

Like it or not, the dentist will be examining your oral cavity and their gloved-up hands will smear any lipstick all over your face.  As for lip gloss, the sticky stuff will most likely end up on the intra-oral dental mirror the dentist uses to check your teeth.  If it blocks their vision, they won’t be happy.

My Advice :  Don’t go bare-lipped because your lips may dry out.  Instead, apply a moisturising lip balm or lip cream which soaks into lips and doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue.

{Recommendations : Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm, Guinot Longue Vie Levres Vital Lip Care}

2.  Smokey eyes and going to the dentist do not go together!

Nowadays, it’s all about health and safety so every patient is required to wear unflattering safety tinted glasses to protect your peepers from the lights and water splashes.  Regardless of whether you keep your eyes opened or shut them tight, it can get kinda hot under the spotlight and combined with any nerves you may have, you’re gonna sweat.  What does that mean?  Your hot smokey eye make-up will turn into big panda eyes!

My Advice :  Give your eyes a break from all the make-up.  Curl your lashes and slick on an eyelash serum.

{Recommendations : L’Oreal Paris Lash Renewal Serum}

3.  Get rid of unwanted facial hairs ASAP!

The spotlight will be on the area around your mouth. This means that the dentist and their dental assistant will have an extreme close-up of that area.  Remove your ‘tache (I said remove, not bleach!!  Bleaching doesn’t make hair invisible!) and if you have been blessed with nose hair, trim it!!

My Advice :  I’m a big fan of threading which plucks hair from the follicle level and one day, I will get mine lasered off.  But as for now, facial hair removal cream is my best friend.

{Recommendations :  Nair Sensitive Precision Facial Hair Removal Cream}

4.  Dousing yourself in your favourite perfume is a no-no!

Who doesn’t want to smell good and show off their signature scent?  But let me tell you from personal experience that there’s nothing worse than being a dentist treating a highly perfumed patient.  The protective mask is pretty suffocating already and if you add in an unwanted scent in a small confined area (aka dental surgery), it’s very uncomfortable.  Remember, you want to keep your dentist happy!!

My Advice :  A light spritz of an eau de toilette to your wrists or a gentle spray of deodorant to your armpits is more than enough.

{Recommendations : Biotherm Eau Pure, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea EDT}

5.  Pigtail it!

You will be lying back on the dental chair so forget the high ponytails or loose buns because it will be uncomfortable to rest your head on them.  You can keep it loose but if be careful of it getting tangled up or even worse, having bits of your saliva and blood flying into it.

My Advice :  Embrace braided pigtails.  One to each side for fuss-free and extra cute factor.

{Recommendations : sausage loop pigtails, braided side ponytail}

Do you have any more beauty tips to add?  Do you like visiting the dentist?

You may also want to read : How To Brush Your Teeth Properly, How To Floss

Random Teeth Stuff

Domo has crazy white gnashers!

Happy Friday ladies.  Unfortunately, the epic dental post I had drafted in my mind never made it onto the blog today.  Why?  I fell asleep last night and missed out on precious blogging time.  Sorry.  I’ll do it for next Friday – *pinky promise*

Instead, drop me a note and let me know all your dental concerns and I will do my best to put them into future Friday dental posts.  Unless, of course, your teeth are perfect and you have all the dental knowledge in the world – in which case, you should be writing these dental posts and not me!  😛

Random Teethy Stuff Of My Week :-

1.  I have been eyeing up that electric toothbrush I bought a few months ago.  I haven’t opened it yet.  Why?  Because it’s too much effort to charge the bloody thing!  I’ve never used an electric toothbrush before in my life – it’s going to be weird when I do…

2.  I flossed like a boss on Tuesday.  10 minutes dedicated to flossing.  It was so satisfying to see the gunk on my piece of floss.  Remember, sometimes you have to floss the same tooth 3-4 times before you get all the stuff out.  If you haven’t watched my awesome flossing video, do it now – click me!

3.  Sarah from Dempeaux sent me this Youtube link yesterday and it’s about this girl and her veneers.  Let me know what you think about her veneers – yay or nay?  (BTW, there’s an intended pun in that last sentence!)

I’ll end with this really, really BAD dentist joke…

Q : What’s the best time to visit a dentist?
A :  Two-thirty (as in ‘tooth hurty’)

Yeahhhhhh….this is officially THE most random post I have ever written on this blog.  Congratulations if you made it to the end.  I, hereby, bless you with wonderful white teeth and healthy pink gums!  *smiles*

Interpreting Dreams Of Teeth Falling Out

I had a dream last night … some of my teeth fell out … I dunno if it fell out or came out all I know is I was eating something then I spat it out and I could see teeth!!! 🙁 is there a reason for this Dr?

A very concerned reader sent me this message.

My job description is Dentist and not Dream Interpreter, but I did try to help by consulting my BFF aka Google.

Here are my findings :-

1.  Dreams of teeth falling out may be a sign of insecurity.  These dreams often occur at a time of transition from one phase of life to another.  {source}

2.  In  some countries, it’s a sign of death.  {source}

3.  Teeth in dreams represent your strength. When you see your own teeth falling out in a dream this means that you are losing your power.  {source}

4.  Loss of teeth in dreams represent fear.  This dream is a message to make sure that you are 100% healthy as it can signify some type of illness – go to the doctor and get yourself checked out if you feel unwell.  {source}

I, myself, have had vivid dreams of my teeth decaying and falling out.  It’s pretty scary…almost nightmarish.  But to be honest, I’m not a believer of dream interpretations.

However, what say you on this topic?  And do you have any other tooth-related questions I can use for next week’s TGIF dental topic?  Leave me a comment!

Teeth Whitening : Pro vs DIY

Picture this scenario :  Your teeth are looking rather creamy…no wait, they’re kinda yellow because of your daily caffeine intake.  You’ve tried a few whitening toothpastes but they’re not doing anything.  And you’ve got away with it for so many years because you’ve learned to smile without teeth…but you’re getting married next month.  You want to look your best!  And that means a white smile to match your white dress.  That’s it!  You’re going to whiten your teeth but you’re on a tight budget with all the wedding expenses…  Should you go pro and pay that little bit more or pay less and DIY and hope for the best…?

diy teeth whitening kit, professional teeth whitening

I’m your Tooth Fairy and I’m here to help!

Professional Teeth Whitening

This is when you go to a dentist and have a proper consultation to address your needs and ask the questions which Google cannot answer.  You should also get an examination to see whether you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening.  And you should also be advised of anything else you require, e.g. fillings, scaling, etc.

If you are a suitable candidate for teeth whitening, your dentist may offer you :-

1.  At dental surgery, Laser whitening
2.  At home whitening
3.  Laser + at home whitening.

Not all dentists have laser teeth whitening equipment.  What do I think about laser?  (That’s another post!)  For this post, I am focussed on at home whitening kits – this means that your dentist will take an impression of your teeth to make a mould to form trays which are personalised to your teeth only.

1.  Professional advice and aftercare
2.  Dental health will be fully assessed
3.  Personalised form fitting trays

1.  Expensive

DIY Teeth Whitening

This is when you spend time Googling DIY teeth whitening websites and browsing forums and testimonials on which website to purchase from.  You won’t necessarily choose the cheapest on offer…but you’ll choose a reasonably priced DIY teeth whitening kit.  You will also have assessed your own teeth and decided that you’re a dentist  your teeth are fine and suitable for whitening.

1.  Cheap cheap

1.  You’ll get an instructional DVD or leaflet telling you how to DIY.  You will need to make your own teeth whitening trays.  Yes, not only will you become a dentist but you will also be a dental lab technician too!  YAY!  (Sarcasm intended!)

2.  If anything goes wrong, the people at the website cannot help you.  In fact, they’ll most likely end up telling you to “Seek professional advice.  Go see a dentist!

3.  It’s against the rules of the GDC (General Dental Council)

The GDC regards tooth whitening as the practice of dentistry and has signalled that it will seek to prosecute those who are not registered and who provide tooth whitening. It has also stated that it is currently of the view that bleaching should only be carried out by dentists.

The Bottom Line

Dentists go through years of studying for a reason.  Teeth are precious.  I know I don’t want to lose mine!  Sure, some people have “winged” it and think that they have had no problems with DIY teeth whitening…but is that because you haven’t had your regular dental examination yet?

My advice : Leave the teeth whitening to the professionals!

Have you had your teeth whitened?  How was your experience?  Feel free to share.  I won’t judge you!

Disclaimer :
The information on this blog post is intended to be funny, yet educational.  It is a general overview of a variety of topics associated with dental health.  This does not in any way imply a doctor-patient relationship.  The content is not intended to take the place of an examination or consultation with your dentist or other healthcare professionals.  No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents you read here.  If in doubt, seek your own dentist for professional advice.

Professional kit is my own paid version and was made by a dental lab technician.  DIY kit was provided by Mint Cosmetics UK for consideration.  No endorsement of any products featured here.

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