When your pearly whites seem less…well, pearly white, you have plenty of options to invigorate and brighten your smile. Before professional treatment is necessary, however, there are steps you can take to help your smile shine brightly without the need for teeth-whitening treatment. Lake Orion dentist Dr. Brad Greenfield discusses the top ten home methods for a whiter smile.
1. Take Two Minutes—The ADA recommends thoroughly brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, though some people may tend to prematurely finish their routine. Try putting on a short song that you like, and brush for the entire duration of it.
2. Floss daily—Surprisingly, less than 30% of Americans floss on a daily basis. Considering the amount of plaque that clings between your teeth, this may contribute to tooth decay affecting nearly 90% of American adults. Be sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, to get the grime out and help prevent decay.
3. Rinse with Water—Water rinses away debris and bacteria, and because its pH level (acid/alkaline balance) is neutral, it helps neutralize acid. Rinse your mouth out with water each time you consume anything sugary or acidic.
4. Cut Back on Coffee—The dark pigment of drinks like coffee and tea make them notorious tooth stainers when consumed regularly.If you must have it, try to minimize and not sip the dark beverage all morning.
5. Say So-Long to Cigarettes—The chemicals in tobacco not only stain teeth, they can also disturb normal cell functions in your oral cavity and can lead to gum disease and other severe health issues.
6. Use a Straw—When drinking liquids that may be harmful to your oral health, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
7. Be Quick to Swallow—You don’t want to swallow too quickly, but you also don’t want foods and liquids lingering around in your mouth longer than they should. The less time your teeth are exposed to stain-causing substances, the smaller the risk of your teeth staining.
8. Know What Not to Eat—You may want to avoid, or at least minimize your consumption of certain foods and drinks to help keep your teeth their whitest. A few known teeth-staining culprits include:
- Black tea
- Dark sodas
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauce
9. Chew Sugar Free Gum—Saliva does more than soften your food before digestion; it also contains properties that naturally neutralize acid and protect against tooth staining and decay. Chewing sugar free gum, especially after a meal, will stimulate saliva production and increase your mouth’s natural defenses.
10. Call Us!—Attending a dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months is important to healthy mouth maintenance. We also offer a choice of tooth-whitening options if staining has already marred your teeth.
Schedule Your Visit Today
To learn more about maintaining your excellent oral health, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry at 248-693-6213 today to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve families from Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, and Rochester Hills, as well as many other areas in southeast Michigan.