Your smile is one of the first aspects of your physical appearance that people will notice about you. A polished, well-cared-for set of pearly white teeth can score you social points while teeth in poor condition can, unfortunately, have the opposite effect. Additionally, poor oral health indicates and can contribute to poor overall health. Taking the time to keep your teeth in top condition is an investment in your future.
The airwaves are full of advertisements for expensive teeth-whitening products. Unfortunately, many of these contain harsh and harmful chemicals and will produce suboptimal results.
Here are some ways to get your pearly whites white again without damaging them.
Try Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient practice for good dental health that is backed up by modern clinical testing. The basic idea behind oil pulling is to swish a small amount of oil (a single teaspoon or tablespoon). The oil then “pulls” buildup such as plaque (the material that causes yellowing of the teeth) away from your teeth. The result is a brighter, whiter smile and less bacteria floating around the mouth.
Traditional oil pulling typically calls for the use of sunflower or sesame oil. However, many practitioners of oil pulling prefer coconut oil because of its relatively high concentrations of lauric acid, a powerful anti-microbial.
Your dentist may have asked you at your last checkup about your fruit intake, a seemingly strange question that suggests an unlikely connection between fruit consumption and good oral health. In fact, you may have even heard that you should stay away from fruit because it could damage your teeth. While this could be true if you eat fruit in excess, certain fruits are great for your teeth.
Fruits such as strawberries and pineapple pack powerful nutritional punches in the digestive tract, but they can also offer dental health benefits. These benefits derive from a combination of enzymes and acids that are found in these foods, such as bromelain in pineapple and malic acid in strawberries.
One popular method for utilizing these fruits in a teeth-whitening regimen is to crush or pulverize one of these and mix it with baking soda. Then to “swish” the solution around your mouth for a minute and leave it on your teeth for five minutes. Then, brush it away with your usual toothpaste as normal. Be sure not to leave the fruit on your teeth for too long or use this method too frequently as the acid can damage your teeth if used in excess.
Limit Coffee, Sugar, and Red Wine
Many of us love that morning roast in the morning to get the day started on the right foot. Yet, it’s important to know that over-consumption of coffee can have a disastrous impact on the white teeth. The stains tend to stick to the enamel of your teeth and can be very difficult to remove.
The same goes for added sugar (present in many processed foods), red wine, and soda. Eliminate or reduce your consumption of these offenders if you hope for white, and healthier teeth.
Talk to Your Dentist
Finally, if you aren’t getting the results you want, talk to your dentist. While they’ll usually perform a general teeth whitening at your yearly visit, you can also talk to them about at home solutions that might work longer. They may have recommendations of teeth whitening kits that are safe to use as well.
The whiteness of your teeth makes a big difference in the appearance of your smile. If you want to have white teeth but are concerned about potentially damaging them, talk to your dentist about solutions.