Everyone wants to look their best, especially when it comes to their smile. Whether it’s flashing a glistening grin at your gym crush or meeting your new boss at work, pearly white teeth are total goals.
Dr. Nathan Hoffman, CEO/Founder/Dentist of The Chicago Dental Studio says, “There are many ways to achieve [whiter teeth,] but upkeep is key in maintaining a whiter smile. Our daily at-home habits are crucial in keeping our smiles shining bright.” Although whiter teeth can be reached with treatments both inside and outside the dental office, here are five things you can do every day for whiter teeth.
#1 Avoid sugar
We all enjoy a sweet treat every now and then, but limit your intake of sugary beverages and foods. Oral bacteria feed on refined sugar, which can ultimately cause decay and staining. Instead, fill your plate with phosphorus foods like beans, eggs, fish, lean meat and nuts as these can help keep tooth enamel strong.
#2 Eat fibrous foods
It may sound contradictory to eat foods to get whiter teeth, but certain foods can actually help brighten your smile. Fibrous foods with a lot of crunch can help clean teeth naturally. Think of foods like raw apples, carrots, celery sticks and radishes. These foods are like Mother Nature’s toothbrush and can cause a natural abrasion on the surface of the tooth, which can remove bacteria and scrub away surface stains. Crudité, anyone?
#3 Floss daily
Flossing should ideally be done after every meal, but at the very minimum, once a day. If you only floss once a day, it’s best to floss before bed, which can help eliminate any harmful bacteria that may be lingering from the day. For best results, run the floss along each individual tooth in the shape of a “C” rather than just snapping it quickly back and forth between each tooth.
#4 Rinse after eating and drinking
Brushing your teeth after every meal is a good oral hygiene practice, but who wants to always carry a toothbrush with them? (Not me). If you can’t brush your teeth after every meal, then at the very minimum, rinse, especially if you drink dark-colored beverages. Brightly colored blueberry smoothies or salad toppers like pomegranate seeds can stain teeth just as much as coffee, tea and red wine, so be sure to rinse after enjoying.
Hoffman notes, “An antimicrobial mouthrinse is all that is needed, but if you don’t like the burn, then opt for an alcohol-free option instead.” If rinsing isn’t possible, drink some water and lightly swish to prevent any stains that may begin to set in.
#5 Upgrade to electric
It may seem like an initial investment at first, but using an electric toothbrush over a manual toothbrush can save you dollars on future dentist visits. An electric toothbrush removes plaque and stains in a way that no manual brush can yet is still gentle on gums.
Hoffman says, “For a superior clean, we recommend a Phillips Sonicare electric toothbrush.” Plus, an electric toothbrush doesn’t damage tooth enamel. Think of it like a mini daily dentist cleaning. It’s important to note that using an electric toothbrush does not count towards a regular cleaning, so be sure to visit your dentist for a regular cleaning, ideally every six months. Hoffman notes, “A whiter smile is a great confidence booster, but having healthy teeth is most important. Going to your dentist regularly for cleanings is the best way to maintain a healthy, bright smile.”
Whiter teeth doesn’t always mean taking a trip to your dentist for a whitening treatment. Instead, whiten your teeth daily with these five tips. Now someone pass me an apple!
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