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

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!

TGIF #3 : Celebrity Smile Makeovers Featuring Catherine Zeta Jones & Hilary Duff

Welcome to this week’s TGIF (Teeth, Gums – It’s Friday) series.  Perhaps the last 2 weeks of oral hygiene instruction and flossing were too full-on so I thought I’d make it an easy breezy post today and talk about celebrities and their smile makeovers.  I guess it’s the norm these days to want bright white teeth which are perfectly straight – the “Hollywood smile”.  But did you know that teeth are a naturally creamy off-white colour?  It’s definitely not how hard you brush your teeth to get them white or how much milk you drink…??!!!  Anyway, I will talk about teeth whitening at a later date.  Let’s check out Catherine and Hilary and their teeth…

Catherine Zeta Jones

CZJ had spacing, but the shape of her original teeth were not bad.  She could have got away with fixed braces instead of going down the veneers route.  But her new teeth are very flattering for her.  Personally, I think CZJ is stunning and oozes femininity.

Hilary Duff

 It’s a shame!!!  All Hilary needed was some teeth whitening to brighten up her smile but it looks like she got veneers too as they are longer in length.

What I Personally Think About Veneers

Don’t do it unless it’s the ONLY option left.  Most veneers involve shaving down the tooth and in this process, it can damage your tooth and cause it to die.  Also, veneers are like false nails – they can basically flick off if you bite into an apple!

Back in the days when I worked in a cosmetic dental practice, I used to discourage my patients to get veneers and consider other options like fixed braces.  It takes longer to complete treatment, but in the end, they were grateful because they preserved the natural state of their own teeth and also, they liked my honesty.  Of course, I would have earned more money doing the smile makeovers instead of sending them to the orthodontist, but you know – life isn’t all about money.  Damn…probably could have bought myself a Chanel 2.55…ack well!

Over to you – Do you have veneers?  And what do you think of CZJ and Hilary’s smile makeovers?  What are your main concerns with your teeth?

(Note : images taken from Google)