Many Americans aren’t satisfied with the appearance of their teeth. Even those with perfectly healthy chompers can be discontent with the color, shape, or alignment of their teeth.
Though the best way to get your teeth looking their best is to consult your dentist, there are ways to protect the appearance of your teeth beyond regular brushing. Specifically, taking steps to protect your enamel can help your teeth look whiter and brighter. Protecting enamel will keep your smile lovely and bright, and it will also help protect you from tooth pain and decay.
If your teeth are looking a little dull, or you just want to take good care of your smile, use the following list to establish good enamel-protecting habits.
- Avoid Foods and Beverages that Stain Enamel
There are a few common culprits that stain teeth and damage enamel, ruining their white appearance. Coffee, dark soda, tomatoes, and red wine are common culprits. Essentially, any dark, sugary, and acidic foods can weaken and stain enamel. Citrus fruits and drinks flavored with lemons or grapefruits can also be acidic enough to damage tooth enamel. Remember to eat and drink these foods in moderation. As a teeth whitening bonus, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after eating to help wash away acids.
- Don’t Brush Too Hard Another surprising habit that can weaken tooth enamel is aggressive brushing habits. Though you may think applying pressure while brushing can get more food and bacteria off of your teeth, too much scraping can actually strip away tooth enamel. Instead, make sure you brush gently and only for the recommended two minutes. Use floss and mouthwash to remove remaining bacteria to protect the whiteness of your enamel.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum Chewing sugar-free gum that is minty or has other flavors can help stimulate saliva production, especially after meals. Saliva works to reduce the acids in your mouth, and can wash away other harmful substances on tooth enamel. For a whiter smile, consider chewing sugar-free gum every now and then.
- See the Dentist Regularly Finally, the best way to keep enamel strong and white is to visit a dental clinic twice a year. Unfortunately, 12% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 haven’t seen a dentist in the past five years, which is detrimental for retaining a bright and white smile. Dentists can clean away plaque buildup, treat cavities, and complete dental implants to keep your smile looking lovely. Some offices even offer teeth whitening treatments. Teeth whitening treatments are a great option for restoring a smile’s appearance, but in order to maintain the glow from the treatment, be sure to follow the steps listed above.
The first step to a beautiful smile is good oral health, and the first step to good oral health is protecting your tooth enamel. By avoiding acidic and sugary foods, brushing gently, and visiting the dentist often, you can maintain a lovely and healthy smile.