How can I make my teeth healthier? Ask Dental Surgeon Dr Quah Ying Clare

How can I make my teeth healthier? Ask Dental Surgeon Dr Quah Ying Clare 1

Maintaining a set of healthy teeth is essential. With research demonstrating a connection between a person’s mouth and overall health, unhealthy teeth can lead to more than just oral problems.

This month, we sat down with T32 dental surgeon, Dr Quah Ying Clare, to learn how we can make our teeth healthier.

What are signs of healthy teeth?

Healthy teeth should be pain free, with no tartar on the tooth. Any previous restorations should be intact, with no brown holes around them. Gums appear coral pink and are firmly attached to the teeth. There should be no bad breath or sour taste.

Are healthy teeth white or yellow?


There are 2 layers in teeth – Dentine and Enamel. The underlying dentine layer is yellowish which is why sometimes our teeth appear yellow. Enamel is translucent white, which gives teeth its white appearance. Having yellow teeth does not mean it is unhealthy, and in some cases, can be improved by simple whitening procedures. However, having brown/ black teeth especially if it is cavitated, likely indicates a cavity that needs to be filled.

Which teeth whitening method should I choose? Ask Dental Surgeon Dr Chin.

What are signs of unhealthy teeth?

The most obvious sign would be pain from the tooth, redness and swelling of the gums. Other signs include bad breath, or a foul taste in the mouth, likely from food trapped in the crevices of the teeth. Brown/ Black holes on teeth could be tooth decay. Mobile shaky teeth may indicate underlying gum disease especially if there is a familial history of gum disease or if the patient is a smoker. Severely broken teeth also known as retained root stumps, may be painless but that does not mean it is healthy!

Signs you should visit a dentist.

Can teeth repair themselves?

Unfortunately not, most of the time if you are able to pick up a cavity from your regular bathroom mirror, it is sizable enough to warrant a filling. Teeth can only repair themselves after professional dental treatment if they are in a very initial state of gum disease or decay. These must be picked up during your routine dental check up, and with dental X-rays.

What can I do to make my teeth healthier?

Exactly what we have been taught as kids: Brush 2 times a day, Floss daily. Use the modified bass technique and brush your tongue as well. Mouth wash can be an added boost, but it cannot replace toothbrushing. Reduce intake of sugary drinks and food.

Read the 8 oral hygiene habits to adapt for healthy teeth and gums.

About Dr. Quah Ying Clare

Dr. Quah Ying Clare graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at the National University of Singapore and gained extensive experience at the National Healthcare Group of clinics. Dr Quah was appointed as Dental Officer In-Charge of Toa Payoh Polyclinic in 2020 and was awarded Singapore Health Quality Service Award by National Dental Centre in 2021.

Dr Quah is a member of Singapore Dental Association and College of General Dental Practitioners Singapore.

Book a Routine Dental Check-Up Today

At T32 Dental, we put our hearts into your smile. Our dentists will make sure that your teeth are healthy and point out concerns with advice on how to fix them.

Get your teeth checked today. Contact us for a dental check-up.