Hamigaki: The Art Of A Beautiful Smile

Dental Care Tips And English-Speaking Dental Clinics In Tokyo

By Emi Schemmer
September 3, 2017
Health & Beauty

Beautiful smiles speak the same language — proper dental care.

We all know a bright smile and healthy teeth are the result of great dental care — both from a trusted dentist as well as from proper self-regimens. So what do you have to do to achieve that great smile? For how long and with which products should you rely on? We share five common tips here.

The Japanese are known for their fixation on cleanliness, as well as routine, and an extensive hamigaki (tooth brushing) hygiene. No doubt you’ve seen your colleagues rush to the restroom to brush their teeth, often a couple of times in the day. There are numerous dental products on the market, including foldable toothbrushes (that look like mascara) to fit the ladies’ toiletry cases, total on-the-go dental kits and even individually packaged mouthwash capsules, an endless array of “perfect smile” goods, and what not. Dental care here is a never dying trend — just as it should be.  

A smile is the best form of makeup

It’s said that: “a smile is the best form of makeup.” Our teeth play a huge role in our appearance — feeling proud and confident to flash a huge smile can completely change your interaction with people, have a positive effect on your work and colleagues and overall can enhance your quality of life. Here are some tips to help keep your pearly whites white, gums healthy and mouth in tip-top shape.

1. Stay away from stains

Red wine, black tea, coffee, and of course cigarettes, are all major culprits to not so pearly white teeth. To help avoid deep staining, it’s a good idea to brush immediately after eating or drinking foods that stain your teeth. You can also opt for a quick mouthwash if you’re out of reach of a brush or can even try this easy and healthy trick —eat an apple.  For those who are interested in new products, try Apagard Deep lotion. This is a relatively new product developed by Sangi K.K. and it can best be described as a hybrid between toothpaste and mouthwash. Available individually packaged — so perfect to throw into your toiletry case — and at most variety stores like Loft and Plaza, this product is great for a quick brush or swish as it contains their unique patent formula which completely coats and cleans your teeth.

Another stain removal product to check out is teeth whitening sponges. Just like those magic white sponges that clean just about everything in the house, well now they’re available to clean your teeth. They do not require water or toothpaste, so are very easy to use and, surprisingly, do the trick. Sometimes difficult to spot in the drugstore, so keep your eyes open, they are often hanging somewhere at the end of the dental section.

2. Don’t overuse your brush

If you use an electric toothbrush, make sure you change the head every two to three months. This also applies to regular toothbrushes as well.  

If you begin to notice the bristles splitting, it’s time to toss and grab something new, otherwise, you risk not only compromising the effectiveness of your brushing but you may also damage your gums. If you’re on the market for a new electronic toothbrush or ready to make the shift from disposable to electronic, there are a few which stand out with not only excellent product reviews but also customer ratings as well.

The Panasonic EW-DE54 ultrasonic electronic toothbrush is easy to handle, lightweight and has a head small and compact head designed to scrape out pathogens hiding in the periodontal pocket. This great toothbrush has excellent reviews with frequent comments regarding its ability to deeply clean your teeth, even your back molars. Easy to charge with a power-saving feature, it’s available on Amazon for ¥15,580.

3. Brush your tongue

Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish.

4. ‘Exercise’ your teeth

Raw foods — like apples, carrots, celery, and cucumbers — help clean teeth as they’re eaten because they are crisp, more firm and require our teeth to work in order to break them down into digestible pieces. Not only is incorporating more raw fruits and veggies into your diet a healthy and waist-slimming choice, it will also show in the health of your teeth, gums, and overall oral hygiene!

5. Try the baking soda trick 

Baking soda is yes, not the best tasting substance to use when it comes to your dental routine but it does remove stains and whiten your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. You can also use salt as an alternative, however, it won’t be so pleasant in taste. Also, if your gums start to feel raw, switch to brushing with salt every other day.

6. Use non-alchohol mouthwash 

To check the freshness of your breath, lick the underside of your wrist and smell it while it’s still wet. If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint or even better: a quick brush or swish of mouthwash. There are several brands on the market that many of you will recognize in Tokyo drugstores — Listerine, OraCare, G.U.M — however, it’s important that you make sure whatever product you do buy, is alcohol-free (look for the “ノンアルコール” label in katakana). Most over-the-counter mouthwashes have too much alcohol, which can dry out the tissues in your mouth, making them more susceptible to bacteria, which then makes you more likely to have bad breath.

English-speaking dental clinics in Tokyo 

Amakawa Dental Office

Services: Children and adult dentistry and orthodontics
Address: Daiichi Masago Bldg. 4F, 2-7-18 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5926-3871
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. (Monday opens at 10:30 a.m.; Saturday closes at 4 p.m.)

Tokyo Clinic Dental Office

Services: Children and adult dentistry
Address: 32 Shiba Koen Building, 3rd Floor, 3-4-30 Shiba Koen, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3431-4225
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 

Hills Dental Clinic

Services: Children and adult dentistry
Address: Motoazabu Hills Forest Terrace West, 1-3-3 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5730-3900
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.– 7 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

United Dental Office

Services: Children and adult dentistry
Address: 3-8-1 Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5570-4334
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

Kimishima Dental Clinic

Services: Children and adult dentistry
Address: 5-2-35 5F Minami-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-6277-4217
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.-5 p.m. 

Tokyo Midtown Dental Clinic

Services: Children and adult dentistry, preventive dentistry, aesthetic dentistry, whitening
Address: Midtown Tower 6F, Akasaka 9-7-1, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03-5413-7912
Office Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.