This time of year in Madison calls for snowshoeing, sledding, ice skating, and even ice boating. If photos of you having fun outside make you want to have sparkling teeth to match our wintry weather, here are 3 ways to brighten your teeth naturally:
- Proper Hygiene for Pearly Whites
- Foods for a Sparkling Smile
- Skip the Stains
Proper Hygiene for Pearly Whites
It’s obvious but essential: without proper hygiene, your smile won’t be at its best. The ADA recommends brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day. These simple actions are necessary to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth, the worst offenders when it comes to dulling your smile.
Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that clings to teeth. Ranging in color from clear to yellow, it dulls the appearance of teeth, as well as contributes to decay. If it remains on the tooth, it hardens into tartar, which over time can become yellow or brown.
If you are struggling to remove plaque, consider upgrading to a more powerful toothbrush, which may help, especially if you have coordination or strength limitations. Toothbrushes like the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 can offer a thorough cleaning with minimal effort.
Scheduling regular dental cleanings is also imperative in keeping plaque to a minimum. Hygienists can remove hard-to-reach plaque and tartar and can offer guidance for how to you can best tackle individual dental hygiene problems.
Foods for a Sparkling Smile
Did you know that some foods naturally brighten teeth? Pineapple, for instance, contains bromelain, a natural enzyme used in toothpaste that breaks down plaque and tartar and removes stains.
Other foods that help whiten teeth are those that increase saliva production, which is the mouth’s natural way for washing away plaque and bacteria. Tart foods like grapefruit and sour apples after a meal can stimulate saliva flow. Crunchy foods, like raw veggies, also increase saliva production and have the added benefit of cleaning plaque and debris off the surface of teeth.
Dairy products are also natural teeth brighteners. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, high amounts of lactic acid in dairy protect teeth from decay. Decay dulls the appearance of teeth by exposing dentin, the yellowish inner layer of teeth.
Skip the Stains
Another way to naturally brighten teeth is to avoid food and beverages known to stain, as well as cigarettes. Highly pigmented items like berries, soy sauce, tomato sauce, red wine, tea, and coffee can leave hard-to-remove stains.
Smoking is another habit to avoid, as the nicotine and tar in the cigarettes contribute to tooth discoloration. Beyond the look of teeth, smoking also causes tooth decay, gingivitis, and even tooth loss.
For further reading: Is Vaping Bad for My Teen’s Teeth?
Teeth Whitening in Madison, Wisconsin
If you’re looking for a professional-level teeth whitening process, we offer two options: tray whitening and in-office whitening. Tray whitening is done at home over a period of days until the desired shade is reached. Zoom, our in-office process, can brighten teeth several shades lighter within an hour.
To learn more about these options and which one is right for your teeth, please schedule a consultation today. Affiliated Dentists offers teeth whitening in Madison, Wisconsin.
3 Ways to Brighten Your Teeth Naturally brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson