Thursday, May 8, 2014

Best Habits for Ensuring Healthy, White Teeth

Everyone knows it's important to brush twice daily, in the morning and at night, and regularly floss, too. But what else can you do to make your teeth their brightest, whitest and all-around healthiest? Here are easy tips that will make you smile.

Don't Brush After Every Meal

You may think you're benefitting your teeth by brushing every time you finish eating. But you can actually be doing more harm than good. Certain foods can leave acid behind on the teeth, weakening the enamel. If you brush right after eating, while the enamel is in a weakened state, you can actually scrub it away, leaving your teeth more vulnerable. Instead of brushing to remove leftover food particles after a meal, swish (and spit!) with water.

Skip the Soda

Soda can cause damage to your teeth in just the first few sips. There is research that relates drinking soda to drinking battery fluid. The sugar in the soda leads to cavities and the phosphoric acid in the drink erodes enamel on the teeth and also causes hypersensitivity in the mouth. Soda also tends to stain the teeth, leaving them dull and dingy. Instead of soda with your meal, chose water with a squeeze of lemon or other fruit for a bit of flavor. Your teeth will thank you!

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

You may think your doctor is conspiring with your dentist to get you to eat healthier in the name of achieving healthier, whiter teeth. But really, crispy, crunchy fruits and vegetables (like apples and carrots) are a great way to naturally whiten your teeth because their abrasive consistency serves as a natural toothbrush without damaging your teeth's sensitive enamel. Strawberries, though not crunchy, also help whiten teeth through its astringent, which removes surface stains, and vitamin C that clears plaque away.

Chew Gum

If you love to have something sweet after a meal, skip the sugary treats and instead chew a piece of sugar-free gum. Make sure the gum you chose has Xylitol, a natural sweetener that has been proven to help prevent plaque (because plaque cannot digest xylitol as it can sugar), neutralize the mouth's pH levels and increase saliva production, which helps naturally rinse plaque away. Dr. Oz even suggests eating raisins to increase saliva production. Who knew?

Don't Buy into the Baking Soda Hype

Many people are looking for more natural solutions to their beauty and health routine than drugstore remedies and, with that in mind, baking soda has become a popular method for brushing teeth. However, it is too abrasive for the teeth to be used as a long-term solution for whiter teeth because it can actually damage the enamel, making them appear - gasp - darker, not whiter in the long run. Ask your dentist to prescribe a teeth-whitening toothpaste or have an in-office professional whitening treatment and get ready to flash that beautiful smile.

Jillynn Stevens is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more. No one wants unsightly teeth. Consider your oral health at all times and talk to your dentist about available teeth whitening treatments if you want a brighter smile.
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