There’s no time like the New Year for reinvention and renewal. If part of your resolution this year is to obtain a healthier, whiter smile, there are steps you can take on your own to help you achieve it.
-Munch on fruits and vegetables. Firm, crisp fruits and veggies like apples or broccoli are well known to help clean and whiten teeth. The texture of the produce acts like a natural toothbrush to help scrub your teeth and rid your mouth of debris or food residue. Some fruits, like strawberries, contain natural acids that can help banish stains and make teeth whiter. These acids can be harmful in large doses, though, so keep your strawberry consumption down to about a handful a day.
-Don’t skip the floss. We all know the importance of brushing, but many people don’t floss at all. Flossing is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. A toothbrush can’t reach the tiny spaces in between teeth, and slacking on flossing allows bacteria, plaque and stains to build up in these crevices. Not only can this contribute to gum disease and decay, but the stains resulting from ignoring this hygiene step can be annoying and difficult to get rid of. Click on start a healthy routine
-Quit smoking. Aside from the serious consequences for your health, tobacco smoke is one of your biggest enemies when it comes to white teeth. The tar and nicotine in cigarettes is extremely staining and damaging to the protective layer of enamel on the outside of your teeth. Long-term cigarette use can lead to dark gray or black stains on teeth, which are typically much more difficult to remove then yellowish stains. Smokeless, or chewing tobacco, doesn’t help either- the chemicals in chewing tobacco are just as staining to teeth and still dangerous to your health.
–Chew sugarless gum. The act of chewing stimulates your glands to produce more saliva. Saliva is your body’s natural defense against bacteria, residue and stains. A constant flow of saliva can also help neutralize acids that can cause staining and decay. Make sure the gum you choose is sugar-free and carries the ADA stamp of approval. This means the product is proven to be effective at helping teeth stay healthy.
-Drink more water. The majority of US adults aren’t staying hydrated on a regular basis, and this can mean big problems for teeth. Your body is more efficient at all its processes when it’s well hydrated, including keeping teeth strong and banishing bacteria. Without enough water in your system, your body can’t produce enough saliva, resulting in dry mouth. Sipping on water throughout the day also provides a constant wash of acid-neutralizing, nourishing liquid instead of sugary, acidic soda or juice.
-Eat more dairy. Dairy products provide your body with calcium, which is essential to strong teeth. Cheese especially is very useful for oral health, as the waxy or creamy texture tends to form a temporary protective coating over the teeth, repelling stains and bacteria. For this reason, it’s helpful to eat cheese with wine or dessert, and make the cheese the last thing you eat.