Everyone wants a perfect, white smile and healthy teeth. But, you don’t always need to get your teeth whitened professionally to achieve the perfect smile. Instead, there are many ways of naturally whitening and changing the appearance of your teeth, and it begins at home.
What can cause unhealthy teeth?
We know the basics, brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes a day, floss and then mouthwash. But, there may be many of your daily habits that might be causing unhealthy or painful teeth.
Chewing ice can really damage your teeth by putting small cracks in your enamel. These can get larger over time, and could even cause teeth fractures. Instead, put ice in your water and don’t chew on your ice!
Other habits like grinding your teeth, especially overnight when you don’t realise what you’re doing, can also cause loose, broken and cracked teeth. If this continues, an overnight mouth guard or retainer may be an option for you to discuss with your dentist.
What can I do to improve my teeth’s appearance?
Improving the appearance of your teeth doesn’t always have to cost money. There are loads of things you can do from home to make sure your teeth are the pearly shade of white that you desire. After all, teeth care begins at home.
Professional teeth whitening is arguably the easiest way to brighten the appearance of your teeth. If you do want to whiten your smile, then speak to your local dentist first.
You can get over the counter whitening products, like strips and toothpaste, from pharmacies. Some home kits attempt to make a profit over the fact that their products contain ‘whitening qualities’ when really they don’t actually contain enough whitening products to be effective – so be aware of that. Also be aware that if you’re using whitening strips from a pharmacy, make sure they sit on your teeth (not gums), as this could cause sensitivity and sometimes blistering.
But, professional teeth whitening does also come with the drawback of sensitivity. Sometimes when you’re whitening your teeth may feel a little sensitive afterwards, but this shouldn’t be long lasting.
See a hygienist or dentist regularly
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not visiting their dentist regularly enough. It’s crucial to see your local dentist at least twice a year, as they can pick up on early signs of oral health problems, like tooth decay and gum disease, then these can be easily monitored and won’t get progressively worse.
Brushing twice a day, for two minutes a day has been a part of our daily routines since we were little. It’s important to continue brushing even when your teeth are fully grown. Brushing, with an electric or manual brush, helps prevent cavities by removing lingering food or plaque from in between your teeth.
To brush your teeth, the method is pretty simple, so check that you’re brushing right. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth and gums. Make sure that you’re brushing all the areas inside your mouth, that’s including the backs of your teeth, gums and tongue.
Flossing the right way
Once you’ve brushed your teeth, it’s also important to floss too. Flossing is often the most neglected part of a dental routine, but it shouldn’t be. Where a normal toothbrush cannot get right in between your teeth, a string of floss can reach deep between your teeth and remove any debris or plaque that might otherwise just sit there.
Don’t neglect mouthwash
Again, mouthwash is the third key step to a complete oral health routine. Not only does mouthwash swill out any food that remains in your mouth after eating, but it also contains antibacterial properties which help to kill any nasty germs in your mouth. If these germs aren’t removed properly, then they could cause more serious oral problems, like gum disease or gingivitis.
Avoid drinking red wine and coffee
Dentists aren’t unreasonable, they know that you will probably have one, or both, of these two in your diet. However, they are both highly acidic liquids which if not cleaned off, can sit on your teeth. Red wine and coffee can also cause permanent dark or yellow discolouration on your teeth.
The good news is that you can take steps to minimise the effects these liquids are having on the appearance of your teeth. Using a straw when drinking coffee or red wine will reduce the contact between the liquid and your teeth, giving it less time to stain them. Also, you can brush your teeth after drinking staining liquids, but wait until about an hour after drinking them to make sure the acids are neutralised first.
Quit smoking and improve your lifestyle
Quitting smoking will reduce the likelihood of gum disease and discolouration on your teeth. You can also make other healthy lifestyle choices to ensure that your teeth are looking the best they can. A balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and protein will strengthen your teeth. But, be aware of the sugar you’re eating in your diet. Sugars can be found in a lot of the food we eat and drink, including in breakfast cereals, sweets and chocolate. A diet that has a high intake of sugar can be a cause of tooth decay.
Products and services that can help
There are a lot of products you can buy which claim to improve the appearance of your teeth, but usually, the simplest methods of maintaining your mouth are the best. Watching your sugar intake, avoiding staining drinks and keeping a regular dental hygiene routine that involves brushing, flossing and mouthwash, can all naturally improve the whiteness and overall health of your teeth.
If you do want to look into getting some professional help, like whitening, then do your research and speak to your dentist. They will know your teeth and know the best options for you.