Everyone wants a bright, beautiful smile, but as you age, your pearly whites often lose their luster. How can you get that sparkling grin back? While there are many professional and over-the-counter whitening treatments, the key to brighter teeth may be as simple as changing certain habits or adjusting your diet. Here are 7 ways to get whiter teeth naturally, for a smile that truly lights up a room:
Choose Crunchy Foods
Next time you’re craving crunchy snacks, do your teeth a favor and indulge. Certain hard foods — particularly those that require a lot of chewing — will rub and scrape against your teeth to remove particles, much like a toothbrush does.
Foods with great scrubbing abilities and other health benefits include hard fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, apples and carrots. You can also get this effect with nuts and hard cheeses.
Avoid Major Stain-Causing Liquids and Foods
Certain culprits are known for causing dark stains on your teeth, and avoiding these can go a long way toward helping your smile stay white for years. Common stain-causing drinks include coffee, red wine, dark sodas and tea. Foods that will stain your teeth are often the same ones that will leave unsightly spots on clothes. These include dark berries, soy sauce and curries.
If you’re a white wine aficionado that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. While white wine is less damaging than red wine, it still contains tannins, which can erode teeth and cause them to absorb stains from other foods and beverages.
Get More Calcium
Calcium has great health benefits and can give you stronger, whiter enamel. When you drink and eat calcium-rich foods you’re not only making your teeth healthier, but you’re making your smile more beautiful, too. Non dairy milk and yogurt are both excellent sources of calcium that give your overall health a nice boost as well. Dark green vegetables like broccoli, collards, spinach, and kale are also rich in calcium.
Take Care when Swimming
Doing laps in the pool every day may be great for your body, but it can do a number on your teeth. If you spend more than six hours per week in certain chemically treated pools, you could end up with yellow and brown stains on your not so pearly whites.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite exercise regimen to improve the appearance of your teeth. These stains may be worse in pools that don’t have the appropriate pH levels, so test the pH of your pool to make sure it’s between 7.2 and 7.8. You can also invest in a watertight mouthguard specifically for swimmers.
Produce More Saliva
Having a dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it creates a great environment for food and damaging substances to remain on your teeth for hours. Increasing your saliva production will help you wash away those particles more quickly and more often — which results in less damage to your smile.
How can you boost your saliva production? Eating certain foods — like citrus fruits — can get your juices flowing. Try adding more grapefruits and oranges to your diet. Strawberries are also especially effective at increasing saliva and keeping your smile white.
Do a DIY Teeth Brightening Treatment
This is a simple at-home teeth brightening trick that beauty editor Mary swears by. Mix a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp of water with a bit of toothpaste and brush your teeth for two minutes. Repeat once a week until desired whiteness is achieved, then reduce to once a month.
In the same way your saliva rinses away harsh chemicals and other damaging substances, water is great at keeping your mouth clean. Be sure to get plenty of water throughout the day and take special care to drink after each meal.
If you’ve been hiding your teeth due to discoloration, it’s time to adopt some of these habits so you can get back to having a smile you’re proud to display.
Any questions, comments, secret tips and tricks? Sharing is caring! 🙂
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Photo: Spyros Papaspyropoulos via Flickr