Judging by the aisles in the supermarkets, having white teeth is more important these days than it ever used to be.
The good news is that white teeth can be achieved by shelling out some cash for any of the at-home whitening kits on the shelves.
But even better news is that whiter teeth can also be achieved with some simple proper hygiene steps. And these tips won’t cost you more than .50!
- Your white teeth starts with your diet. Although red wine, coffee, and sodas give you a nice boost of caffeine and/or alcohol, they also give your teeth an added layer as well. The fact is, over time, these and any other dark colored beverage, end up staining your teeth. So the end-all, be-all remedy to this problem is to cut out all dark colored drinks. Ok, that may not be entirely reasonable.
An easier and less dramatic solution is to brush after drinking these beverages and to mix them in with plenty of water. The water will help flush the residue off your teeth.
- Check your toothbrush. Toothbrushes don’t last forever. Expect to change yours out every 2 – 3 months. And as Dr. Harold Katz, a dentist in Beverly Hills puts it, brush your teeth holding your brush at a 45 degree angle against your gums and gently moving in a circular motion. Avoid the back and forth motion that tends to be rough on your teeth.
- Don’t forget the tongue. A nifty little tool called a tongue scraper works very well for cleaning your tongue. Use it in the morning and at bedtime to give your tongue that extra-fresh clean feeling.
- Eat foods that are natural scrubbers. Foods like apples, raw carrots and celery are not only healthy for you, but they are also nature’s little scrubbers for your teeth. Their tough texture makes every bite a sort of cleaning action in your mouth.
- Gargle with apple cider vinegar. Think you need to spend $7 on a bottle of fancy mouthwash? Not so. Apple cider vinegar does all of the things a fancy mouthwash does, without the harmful side effect of alcohol. It kills bacteria, whitens teeth and removes stains – all for about .50 a bottle!
- Brush with baking soda once a week. Baking soda is a powerful agent for a variety of things – one of which is cleaning teeth. But it’s not just for cleaning, it will remove stains and whiten teeth as well.
- Do the breath test. If you’re unsure about your breath, do this simple breath test… Lick the palm of your hand and then take a wiff. If you smell something, then it’s time for a sugar free breath mint. Keep some handy to make sure your breath is always fresh.
- Practice flossing with your eyes closed. If you can floss without having to look in the mirror, you are well qualified to floss your teeth anywhere [link to floss article]. Stuck in traffic? Use the time to floss your teeth.
- Brush your teeth at the most crucial times. According to Katherine W. Wilson, MD at Ochsner Health Center in New Orleans, the crucial times for teeth brushing are first thing in the morning and again right before bed. The reason has to do with saliva and plaque built up that occurs overnight and during the day.
- Conceal with color. This tip is for the ladies… When choosing a lipstick, choose a medium coral or light red lipstick. These shades bring out the whiteness in teeth, whereas lighter shades bring out the yellow.
White teeth are not only healthy, they are also an important part of your appearance. If your teeth are already showing signs of yellowing, take these steps now to prevent and even reverse the effects.
And the next time you think about that glass of red wine or that steaming cup of coffee, have it and enjoy it. But also clean your teeth to prevent the aftereffects.
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