A bright smile makes you feel more confident, and it may even help you make more friends. People who are confident about their teeth smile more often, which makes them appear friendlier to others. If you want to whiten your smile without spending a fortune, here are five practical tips you can try.
Check in with Your Dentist
To improve the quality of your smile, you need to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free. While brushing twice a day and flossing every night will help, you need a professional’s skill and tools to remove stubborn plaque build-up. Your dentist can also help you improve your smile by suggesting different cosmetic dental procedures and recommend products that will strengthen your enamel, preventing cavities and decay.
Get a Metal Straw
Drinking coffee, tea and other teeth-staining beverages with a straw can avoid staining and help keep your smile pristine. This is especially important if you’ve recently had them whitened or are trying to protect them from becoming darker.
Reusable straws are better for the environment, because they cut down on unnecessary waste that so often ends up in the oceans. Reusable straws come in silicone, stainless steel, bamboo, and glass in many shapes and sizes, so you can be kind to the planet while protecting your pearly whites.
Another earth-friendly option is a biodegradable straw. Paper or plant-based straws are single-use, but will do less damage to the environment that the standard plastic option.
Buy Whitening Strips
There are a lot of over-the-counter whitening products out there, and different options work better for different people. Whitening strips are an affordable, at-home teeth whitening product that will help you brighten your teeth in as little as two weeks. When you are choosing your whitening strips, check to make sure that they don’t contain chlorine dioxide. This chemical will erode your enamel, so while the product may initially seem to work, it can lead to long-term dental problems.
There are also many popular DIY teeth whitening tips available on the internet. Before you start one of these though, do your research to make sure you don’t actually end up harming your teeth.
Cut Back on Bread
The starch in bread transforms into a gummy substance in your mouth, and that substance settles on your teeth and causes them to weaken over time. Bread can also get stuck between the spaces between your teeth, which are harder to clean and may even linger after a good brushing. This can lead to cavities, which can quickly transform into tooth decay. Whole wheat bread is a better option as they contain less added sugar and aren’t broken down as easily.
Similarly, you should avoid other highly processed grain-based foods, such as white pasta, crackers, cereals, and chips. Instead, choose whole grain pastas, oatmeal, and brown rice. These will do less damage to your smile than their processed counterparts.
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Some people have mistakenly been taught that fluoride is bad for them, but it is actually wonderful for teeth and bones. This is why your dental hygienist will usually paint your teeth with fluoride when you go in for a checkup. However, you don’t have to wait for your six-month dentist visit for fluoride treatment; you can get it in your toothpaste. Fluoride toothpaste helps minimize the effects of bacteria in your mouth, and simultaneous helps rebuild damaged tooth enamel.
Mouthwashes also contain fluoride. People who have sensitive teeth and tend to get cavities may want to ask their dentist for a prescription mouthwash that contains higher levels of fluoride than what you can buy over-the-counter.
Eating well, avoiding sugary, acidic drinks, and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups are the best ways to protect your smile and improve your teeth.