Is it one of your New Year’s resolutions to whiten your teeth for a brighter smile? Try doing it naturally and inexpensively before you sign up for the alternative methods. A little extra oral hygiene can work wonders.
Foods That Stain Your Teeth
Many common food and drinks that we consume daily stain our teeth. These culprits include red wine, coffee, tea, beets, and red juices like cranberry, grape, and cherry. When you eat or drink these stain causers, try these tips to reduce the damage:
- eat cheese before you sip on red wine. The cheese will coat your teeth making them less susceptible to stains
- eat more leafy greens like spinach and kale as the minerals they contain protect our teeth from stains
- rinse your mouth and teeth with water for 3o seconds after consuming staining foods or drinks
- do NOT brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking teeth stainers as brushing can push the stain and acids into the enamel of your teeth. Instead, rinse as indicated above, then brush after 30 minutes.
- dilute the staining power of coffee and tea with milk or other whiteners
- avoid soda as the acid wears out the enamel on your teeth making them more susceptible to stains
Remove Stains, Plaque and Bacteria
If you notice your teeth are yellow, try these tricks to remove stains, plaque, and even lingering bacteria. Removing or discouraging bacterial growth will also freshen your breath:
- chew (sugarless) gum as the saliva that gum creates can remove plaque and bacteria
- increase your intake of nuts and seeds as they scrape plaque from your teeth and massage your gums
- eat more crunchy vegetables like celery as it also removes plaque from teeth
- rubbing teeth with the white side of orange peel can remove tartar
- dip your brush in baking soda before brushing, once per week
- rub a mint leaf over your teeth to remove plaque and protect from future stains
Brushing and Flossing to Whiten Your Teeth
Poor brushing habits can result in tooth loss and even heart problems. Use these guidelines to avoid these troublesome issues:
- use a soft toothbrush with rounded bristles
- brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day
- brush your teeth before breakfast
- change your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if it is frayed
- floss your teeth daily to remove food and bacteria from the hard to reach areas between your teeth. Bacteria left in these tight spaces will lead to inflammation which causes the health issues above.
- avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. Studies have shown it to cause oral cancer
Start the new year off right with a brighter, whiter smile!