Having a bright white smile is great. Not only does it make you feel good about yourself, but it can affect how others see you. Healthy teeth can make you look more desirable to men and even appear more confident in job interviews.
The first thing to understand is teeth naturally tend to yellow over time. There are several factors that can come into play, including your genetics, what kind of food or drinks you consume and how well you practice oral hygiene on a regular basis. Some foods, beverages and, of course, cigarettes can certainly stain your tooth enamel, but you also have to watch out for things that will break down the enamel. As it deteriorates with age, the yellow-coloured dentin inside the tooth begins to show through and that’s what causes the discolouration.
There are all sorts of over-the-counter whitening remedies available—toothpaste, mouthwash, gel trays and dental strips. And most dentists will offer some sort of professional whitening treatment. These can be effective in the short term because they reduce the enamel stains on the outside. However, they don’t tend to reduce any long-term damage and often make your teeth so sensitive that it’s hard to enjoy any food or drinks for a while.
Let’s discuss some do’s and don’ts to help prevent your teeth from yellowing and keep your smile as bright as possible, especially during the summer fashion months.
Don’t Eat Dark Foods
Soy sauce, blueberries, marinara sauce, and chocolate are just a few common foods with dark pigmentation that can cause your teeth to be stained when consumed in large quantities.
Don’t Drink Dark or Acidic Beverages
Coffee and tea are common drinks known to cause staining. Citrus juices can wear down the enamel. Red wine is a double-culprit because it is both dark in color and very acidic. We’re not saying that you can’t ever drink any of these, but do so in moderation if keeping your teeth bright and white is a priority.
Don’t Drink Sugary Beverages
Sodas (even “diet” options) and energy drinks can be especially bad for dental health. The acids and sugars can really break down the enamel of your teeth. One trick with any harmful beverage is to drink with a straw when possible. That way, the liquid spends less time sloshing around in your mouth and does less damage.
Many studies show just how much smoking cigarettes can stain your teeth and ruin your gums. If you can’t quit altogether, consider alternatives like NJOY e-Cigs because the vapour will do less dental damage.
Do Change Toothbrushes Regularly
It’s easy to get lazy and stick with the same old toothbrush well past its prime. Change it out at least every three months to make sure your teeth are cleaned properly. You should also consider investing in a good-quality electric toothbrush. When brushing, be sure to take care of your gums and your tongue, as well. Proper flossing and mouthwash will also help keep your teeth healthier and whiter over time.
Do Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Consuming raw fruits, vegetables and other crunchy foods like nuts is good for your body and your teeth, as well. When it comes to eating citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and limes, rinse your mouth out with water immediately after to wash off the harmful acids left behind.
Do Try Natural Remedies
There are a number of natural whitening ideas out there you can try. Baking soda mixed with lemon juice creates a paste that has been effective for some people. Rinsing with a solution of two parts water and one part apple cider vinegar is another home remedy. Another unique old remedy is rinsing with organic coconut oil. All of these options may sound a bit unpleasant, but can be affordable and natural solutions to consider.
Are any of these remedies going to brighten your teeth overnight? Of course not. Most of these tips are just good habits that you can apply over time to reduce the amount of damage and staining that’s inflicted on your teeth. They can decrease the amount of yellowing that occurs and help to restore a brighter smile that complements the rest of your beautiful look.
If you want significantly whiter teeth in a short amount of time, we recommend you consult with your dentist before trying any over-the-counter options. They can help you determine your whitening goals and recommend remedies that will be best for you and your continued dental health.