A beautiful smile is your best asset, from feeling good about yourself and with others, to taking that perfect smiley selfie. And nothing defines a smile like beautifully white teeth.
If you’re on the look-out for ways to whiten teeth, follow our advice on how to keep your smile looking its best without aggressive and damaging whitening methods.
Our 6 secrets to whitening your teeth will give you a lovelier smile in no time.
1. Drink smart to avoid stains on teeth
Coffee, tea and red wine all stain teeth, as well as sodas and cocktails. But did you know blueberry, blackberry and pomegranate juices can also cause unsightly marks? This is also true if these darker berries are used in smoothies
Avoid discoloration and tooth damage from fruit juices and soda by drinking with a straw, and keep coffee stains at bay by rinsing your mouth with water every few sips.
2. Choose the right toothpaste to whiten and protect
There’s no better way to whiten your teeth at home than brushing with the right kind of toothpaste. Brushing twice a day helps to remove plaque and keeps enamel-eroding acids at bay.
Brushing after a meal can also help remove stains (but don’t brush directly after a meal: acids from food and drink weaken tooth enamel, and this can cause it to be scrubbed away more easily).
3. Smile, don’t smoke!
Once you’ve managed to whiten your teeth, the trick is to keep them looking their best. That means giving up – or at least limiting – any nasty habits that might leave stains on your teeth. Yes, we’re talking about those pesky cigarettes and cigars.
Give habits like smoking and chewing tobacco the boot. Tobacco doesn’t just stain your teeth; it can also cause serious problems for your oral health and health in general.
As for e-cigarettes, these shouldn’t stain your teeth as they don’t contain tar or smoke. Nicotine is still present however, which may inhibit your ability to produce saliva. This can lead to plaque build-up and bad breath.
4. Eat yourself (and your smile) beautiful
Too many sugary foods can spell bad news for your teeth, even if they taste good. Try avoiding junk food and start aiming for a balanced diet, including plenty of vegetables: this’ll be far healthier for you and your teeth in the long run.
Be careful, though, about the amount of sugar contained in some fruits and juices – these can also give you cavities if you don’t maintain a good oral care routine. “Everything in moderation” is the key.
5. Choose a toothbrush with superpowers
Everyone knows about whitening toothpaste, but did you know your brush can also help bring on a dazzling smile? Smile beauty routine tip: Just as you wouldn’t use a dirty brush to apply make-up, teeth whitening begins with a clean toothbrush. Run your toothbrush under the tap after each use and store upright to air it out properly. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months, so don’t use the same toothbrush for too long.
6. Avoid enamel loss
While food and drink can stain your teeth over time, the almost direct cause of yellow teeth is thinning tooth enamel.
Enamel is the hard, white stuff that makes up the surface of your teeth. Beneath that surface is a substance called dentine, which is actually a pale yellowish colour. When enamel is damaged, the dentine beneath becomes much more visible, leaving you with teeth that appear yellow.
Getting in to good smile-care habits (as outlined in the steps above) will help protect against enamel loss.