As a recent dentist-visiting convert, (having always been terrified) I'm now very into looking after my teeth. A trip to the hygienist is the best way to get whiter teeth, but for in-between appointments, why not try these natural ways to keep your teeth white?
If you're partial to cups of tea, glasses of red wine, buckets of coffee and smoking then you might find your teeth have got discoloured. Find out how to get rid of the stains now... (oh, and if you're a fan, please share this article - we're trying to spread the word about our website!).
If you've ever stuffed your face with chocolate, resulting in a questionable brown smile you might find this one a surprise. Pick up some dark chocolate when you next head to the shop and you will help bacteria from sticking to your teeth. It also contains theobormine , which has been found to be better than fluoride at hardening and re-mineralising tooth enamel.
Chewing a steak will keep mouths and gums exercising which will give them strength. The phosphorus will also help to protect teeth bone and enamel. What a great excuse to head to a fancy restaurant for a tasty bit of steak.
Great news for cheese fans - the yellow treat has been known to increase alkaline saliva and forms a protective layer around your teeth which will help keep acid away. Hard cheeses will also help to remove old food from your teeth. Quick, crack out the cheese board.
4. Baking soda paste
Mix a couple of teaspoons of baking soda with water or fresh lemon juice to make a paste. After wiping your teeth from saliva with a paper towel, put the paste on your toothbrush and use it to coat your teeth. Leave for a minute and then rinse!
5. Nuts & seeds
Chew these hard foods to help rub away plaque and stains. They're also full of healthy fats and protein. Nuts and seeds are not just for woodland creatures!
The high water content in celery will stimulate saliva production, and you can look forward to getting rid of old food in your mouth as well. Your gums will also be strengthened by that crunch. Plus, it's pretty darn good for you.
Packed full of vitamin C, strawberries will help your yellowing teeth. Once a week, try mashing up some strawberries to make a paste. Rub it onto your teeth - only do this once a week to avoid causing damage to your enamel. Don't forget to brush your teeth afterward to reduce the acidity in your mouth.
8. Orange peel
Cut an inch strip of orange peel with the pith (the white) facing you and cover your teeth with it. Rub it back and forth over your teeth and the acid in the orange peel will help to brighten them. Remember to brush your teeth afterward, but not immediately - you don't want to damage tooth enamel weakened by acid.
Gargle with the juice of a lemon and rub the peel all over your teeth to help get rid of yellow marks. Like with other fruit solutions, brush your teeth a little while after to avoid erosion from this acidic food.
It's a weird one, but go grab yourself some charcoal powder. Mix it with your regular toothbrush and have a brush. Coffee, tea, wine and plaque will soon be removed - amazing!
An apple-a-day can keep the dentist away too - they will cleanse and brighten your teeth because of their mild acidic nature. This crunchy fruit will help rub away those stains over time. The water content will increase your saliva production as well, which will help with bacteria which leads to plaque.
Got some sea salt or table salt? Mix a little with some baking soda to make a rub for your gnashers. It's an inexpensive treatment for your teeth - try it twice a week and see how you go.
Sea salt is a more natural option than table salt, with beneficial minerals.
Stay away from...
13. Opening bottles with your teeth
Don't risk cracking or chipping a tooth by opening a bottle with your teeth! Perfectly good opening devices exist, so you have no excuses. I'm guessing it would probably hurt as well...
14. Red wine
Acids in wine will erode your tooth enamel. It also contains tannins and chromogen, a deep pigment which help the colour stick to your teeth - this is why your teeth often can look red after a glass or two. Try keeping a glass of water for after your drink to help combat the staining effects.
Stop chewing on ice - it will make your teeth vulnerable and you could end up cracking your teeth! If you find you can't stop chewing ice, it may be that you have an iron deficiency, so get yourself to a doctor to find out more.
16. Tongue piercings
If you've ever had your tongue pierced, you'll know you can't help but play with it. Rubbing the metal along gums and teeth can damage them - it could even lead to tooth loss.
17. Dried fruit
Sticky foods such as dried fruit can damage your teeth because they tend to stay on teeth for a long time. Rinse with water to help get rid of the sticky remains and brush and floss as soon as you get the chance.
Starchy foods like crisps may lead to tooth decay when it gets stuck in between your teeth. Floss after eating a packet to help prevent this. If you can give them a quick brush - even better.
The dark colour of coffee and acidity can yellow teeth. If you're drinking iced coffee, use a straw to keep the liquid away from the front of your mouth. Brush and floss to keep plaque away.
Tobacco products can stain teeth and can interfere with saliva production which helps the surface of your teeth keep clean. Quit! Consider Allan Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking - or get yourself free quitting support from the NHS.
21. Energy drinks
Sugar is one of the main ingredients of sports drinks so make sure you stay away from bottles that are high in sugar. Have a rinse around with a glass of water to help wash it away.
I don't need to tell you that sweets are bad for your teeth. I don't just mean sticky sweets - sour sweets, chewy sweets, cakes - they all contain high levels of sugar which will get stuck in your teeth and cause tooth decay.
23. Fizzy drinks
Your favourite sugary drink could be weakening your tooth enamel so try and limit what you drink. If you have to, then choose a bottle of fizzy drink that's low in sugar.
Good luck with your teeth!
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