Regardless of the fashions trending at any season, one alluring accessory that never goes out of style is whiter teeth. Unfortunately, aging and certain habits we picked up along the journey of life tend to make it difficult to maintain that luster.
Our teeth are not only important for chewing and talking, but they can also affect the way we look: our facial appeal. The following are tips for maintaining whiter teeth.
Seven tips for whiter teeth
1. Reduce the stain-causing meals
Leading contributors to discolored teeth are the meals and drinks we take. Generally, any food item with a dark color affects the teeth. Such foods include coffee, red wine, juices and even dark sodas. If withdrawing from these things completely is not an option, brush your teeth soon after consuming them, and try talking to your dentist about a teeth-whitening procedure or using an over-the-counter whitening kit.
2. Eat more stain-blocking foods
Some food items, such as fruits and vegetables, have the opposite action of stain-causing foods. These foods are solids and clean plaque and bacteria away from the teeth as you take each bite. Examples of such foods include raw carrots, apples, celery and unsweetened popcorn. These are all excellent and healthy options and for optimal results, should be taken after finishing your meals.
3. Get another toothbrush
With time, bacteria accumulate on the toothbrush, to the point where you may be reintroducing bacteria (sometimes harmful) into your mouth during an activity that is supposed to clean them away. Consider replacing your toothbrush or the head of your electric brush every three months.
4. Use vinegar and baking soda
These substances are excellent contributors to your oral hygiene routine. They help eliminate stains from teeth and kill bacteria. You can use apple cider vinegar each morning as a gargle before regular brushing. Once a week, use baking soda to brush your teeth like a normal toothpaste. Avoid using the two at once, or you might initiate an unpleasant reaction in your mouth.
5. Think about getting a tongue scraper
Plaque does not accumulate on the teeth alone; they also build up on the tongue and is one of the common causes of halitosis (bad breath). Together with brushing your teeth every morning, try using a tongue scraper on your tongue.
At least twice a day, brush your teeth, especially when you wake up in the morning and right before bedtime. Saliva production typically drops when you sleep, and since it is the mouth’s natural cleanser, bacteria often have a thriving breeding ground. Brushing before sleep reduces them, and brushing after waking up eliminates the plaque and bacteria that accumulated while you slept.
Tiny food debris can stay hidden in the crevices of the mouth, causing plaque buildup and discoloring your teeth. Try to floss regularly, ideally after meals. If you are likely to forget, set reminders to do it and keep dental flossers with you every time.
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