As we age, our teeth inevitably loose their bright white sheen. Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can take to restore your pearly whites.
1. Eat your way to whiter teeth.
Foods that are firm or crisp are known to help clean teeth as they're eaten. Apples are considered "nature's toothbrush" and are a great way of cleaning teeth when you're unable to brush your teeth. Other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. All of these foods are known as "detergent" foods, as the rough edges act as a cleaner to remove bacteria from the teeth. Try to make these the final foods you eat in your meal if you know you won't be able to brush your teeth right after eating.
2. Get a calcium boost.
This may come as a surprise to many, but cheese is also known for helping maintain healthy white teeth. Although very fattening, cheese speeds the neutralization of acid and remineralization of enamel. Less damage to our enamel equals fewer discolorations.
Additionally, cheese is also high in calcium, which is known for strengthening bones and teeth. For a lower-fat alternative, milk and yogurt act in the same way as the cheese and contain calcium and phosphorus to promote the remineralization of tooth enamel.
3. Wash away the stains.
Water is not only essential for overall well-being — it is also vital for great oral health. Water acts as a natural cleaner and has the power to wash away bacteria and residue left on the teeth after eating, so be sure to drink a glass of water after every meal.
4. Neutralize acid.
Chewing gum is also very beneficial when it comes to maintaining a white smile. Chewing gum helps to clean teeth mechanically by removing debris, and it stimulates production of saliva, which increases your saliva’s ability to neutralize acid and remineralize your enamel, ultimately strengthening teeth. Make sure you choose a sugar-free gum. Even better would be to opt for one that has whitening properties. We like Purely Trident Peppermint Sugar Free Gum ($12.63 for 12 packs, Amazon).
5. Quit smoking.
Lifestyle choices can also influence a natural white smile with smoking being one of the biggest causes of teeth decay and discoloration. The nicotine and tar in the cigarette cause teeth to turn yellow over a very short period of time, and years of smoking can even turn teeth brown. To stop this from happening, the answer is simple: Stop smoking. (Plus, doing so will improve your overall health dramatically.)
6. Brush your way to a whiter smile.
Your toothbrush can also influence the whiteness in your teeth. Make sure you change your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months; otherwise you're just transferring bacteria to your mouth. People also underestimate how flossing can transform a smile.
7. The Little Extras
Flossing removes some of the staining in between teeth, making your smile instantly look whiter. Try to floss several times a week, as this will not only improve the health of your gums, but you will also notice your smile looking brighter.
8. Hygiene helps.
Regular hygienist appointments at least twice a year will help to preserve your pearly whites while maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The latest technology is dental hygiene uses a special polishing technique, which uses high-pressure air and water and a specially formulated powder that can help restore teeth to their natural color by removing external stains.
9. See the light.
Dark-colored foods are also notorious for causing discoloration in the naturally white teeth enamel. The best thing to do is try to avoid these foods and drinks such as coffee, balsamic vinegar, and red wine. If you want to treat yourself, drink a glass of water afterward, as this will help minimize staining.