White teeth are not just about aesthetics – a healthy smile also has a key role to play in boosting confidence, and can also be an indicator of oral health. Many of the methods for naturally achieving a whiter grin involve improving diet and introducing positive habits, ensuring your teeth remain strong and healthy, helping you to eat, talk and chew. Cosmetic dentistry can also help to erase the mistakes of the past when it comes to tooth discolouring and, in the process, give you back the confidence to chat and smile. But where do you start?
Tooth whitening ‘diet’
Everything that we eat or drink can have an impact on how white our teeth are. Dark coloured food and drink has the most negative impact – red wine and coffee, black tea and brown fizzy drinks, for example, can all turn your beaming smile down a couple of notches. Smoking is another big ‘no’ for anyone who wants to keep teeth white – the nicotine and tar in the tobacco can turn teeth yellow in a relatively short space of time. The solution? Give up smoking and brush your teeth after consuming anything that might leave an unpleasant dark residue – if you don’t have a toothbrush handy, eat an apple.
Get into good habits
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are the basics for white teeth. First thing in the morning and last thing at night are the two most crucial times for brushing, especially in the morning when saliva has dried up allowing plaque-forming bacteria to grow over night. Brush with baking soda as part of your routine once a week to help bring back any lost whiteness or, for a less harsh version, rinse with a solution of one part apple cider vinegar and two parts water.
Brush your tongue
Your tongue is a great place for bacterial to settle and leaving that bacteria where it is speeds up the staining process on your teeth. Start at the back of your tongue and brush towards the front, rinsing after each stroke. Not only will this reduce discolouration but it will help freshen breath too.
Throw out your toothbrush
As soon as the bristles start to bend outwards your toothbrush is no longer working as it should and so every time you brush you’re wasting effort and achieving little. Replace your toothbrush every three months or so to make sure that you’re always getting the most effective clean from your brushing time.
If you’ve tried all of the above and your smile still needs some help then consult your dentist about whitening treatments. The best, and most effective, whitening treatments should be carried out by the professionals and can only be performed by licensed dentists.