Having a straight, pearly-white smile is something most people want. In fact, when adults over 50 in the U.S. were surveyed by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, more than half of respondents said that a smile is the one physical feature that remains the most attractive as people age. So if your smile is not as great as you’d like it to be, don’t fret — there are plenty of easy things you can do to improve the look of your teeth. Let’s take a look at a few of these tips you can try at home.
Be Mindful of What You’re Eating and Drinking
While a lot of people are mindful of what they put in their body for health or weight loss purposes, many people don’t think about how the food and drinks they’re consuming impact their teeth. There are plenty of food and drinks that can stain or damage teeth. For drinks, red wine, coffee, black tea, dark juices, and soda can all be harmful to your teeth. All of these beverages can cause long-lasting stains and sugary drinks can break down the enamel of your teeth. As for food, firm or crisp foods, also known as “detergent” foods are great for your teeth — these firm foods can help clean your teeth as they’re being eaten. Some of these foods include apples, celery, raw carrots, and even popcorn. Choosing the right food and drink to consume can go a long way when it comes to keeping your teeth white and healthy.
Brush Your Teeth at the Right Times
Everybody should (hopefully) be brushing their teeth at least twice a day. If you don’t, that may be a big contributing factor to your unhealthy, yellow teeth. But even if you do brush your teeth twice a day, there are certain times you should be brushing for optimal cleaning. First, you should brush your teeth as soon as you get up in the morning. While you are sleeping overnight, plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth. This is why it’s important to get rid of plaque and bacteria as soon as you wake up by brushing. And the other time you should be brushing is right before bed. Saliva dries up when you’re sleeping, which is what allows the plaque and bacteria to build up — so by brushing right before bed, you can minimize the amount of plaque and bacteria that end up on your teeth. And if you want to go the extra mile, consider brushing after every meal, too.
Check Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush should be replaced every two to three months. If you’re someone who agrees that dentistry is one of the 10 most ethical professions, you’ll listen to your dentist when they recommend replacing your toothbrush frequently. Toothbrushes carry bacteria from your teeth, and they can then re-distribute it throughout your mouth. This can cause your teeth to weaken or become less white over time, especially if you very rarely replaced your toothbrush. Fortunately, this is avoidable by simply getting a new toothbrush. You should also consider changing your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold to ensure you get rid of any germs that built up on the toothbrush.
While having beautiful-looking teeth may not help you avoid becoming one of the five million Americans who have their wisdom teeth removed every year, it can make you feel good about yourself. So keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to a better smile in no time.