There’s nothing more beautiful than a big, bright smile, but years of coffee and red wine drinking tend to yellow our pearly whites. There are many products on the market to combat the problem – some applied at a dentist’s office, others are self-administered. If you opt for the DIY route, speak to your dentist first to avoid whiteners that are highly acidic, abrasive or peroxide based.
“Over use of these products can permanently damage the enamel, increase sensitivity and make your mouth more prone to disease,” explains Dr. Gerry Curatola, founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry and oral health expert to The Doctor Oz Show, ABC, NBC and FOX television networks. Regular teeth cleaning appointments, plus proper brushing and flossing are important before and after teeth whitening.
Did you know that food can also help keep your teeth white? “Pears, apples, raw almonds, raw celery and raw carrots are high in fibre and act as tiny toothbrushes when you chew, removing surface stains from teeth. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C and help reduce the formation of plaque. They also have malic acid, which can dissolve stains,” says Dr. Curatola.
If you can’t quit coffee and red wine, he suggests drinking them through a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
Five Tips for Keeping Teeth and Gums Healthy
1) Your toothbrush is a magnet for bacteria in your bathroom. Cover it with a breathable cover such as the Toothbrush Shieldt hat wicks moisture away from the toothbrush.
2) Stop using popular detergent-based toothpaste and switch to a natural, bio-effective product that contains key antioxidants needed in the mouth.
3) Eat foods that can alkalize, are anti-inflammatory and are anti-oxidant rich.
4) Manage stress with deep breathing or meditation. Stress causes teeth grinding at night and can dry up saliva making you prone to tooth decay and gum disease.
5) Make sure you get regular exercise. A little known fact is that runners as a group have a very low incidence of gum disease.