As a striking part of your facial expression, teeth that are clean and white can radiate beauty and portray personal confidence. But teeth that haven’t been properly cared for can be an embarrassment that causes insecurity. A large number of Americans report hiding their teeth when taking a photo in an effort to conceal their yellowing smiles. At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert Arizona, we would love to share a few natural ways to keep your teeth clean and encourage habits and practices that can protect your teeth and give you the confidence to meet people with a full, healthy smile. hygiene
Regular Brushing and Flossing
Daily preventative oral health care is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your teeth. By brushing at least two times a day and flossing at least once, you decrease the buildup of plaque which causes tooth decay and discoloration. To ensure an even brighter smile, we recommend brushing after every meal. Brushing in the middle of the day while at work or school may be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Brushing after eating scrubs away harmful bacteria and keeps food particles from lingering and staining your teeth.
Watch What You Eat and Drink
Over time, acidic dark beverages like coffee, sodas, and wine can cause discoloration in the enamel of your teeth. If you consume any of these liquids on a regular basis, consider drinking them through a straw. By doing so, your teeth won’t be as exposed to their acidic staining effects.
Dark-colored berries are also known for staining teeth. Because they’re a superb nutritional addition to your diet, we don’t suggest avoiding berries. But we DO suggest that you brush immediately after you eat, in order to prevent discoloration. In addition, ingesting foods that are high in processed sugars can cause discoloration. The sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, which leads to plaque, and over a period of time plaque creates a yellow hue on your teeth.
Eat Raw, Water-Rich Fruits and Vegetables
You’re aware that sugar is harmful to your teeth, as are hard nuts and hard candies. But you may not be aware of foods you should eat in order to benefit your teeth. We recommend fibrous raw vegetables that help scrub bacteria from your teeth while you chew. Water-rich fruits and vegetables also help to produce saliva that keeps your mouth moist and naturally cleans and washes away bacteria. One example of a watery fruit that helps wash away bacteria is the ever popular, juicy strawberry.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Forgotten natural and traditional forms of health and wellness are being rediscovered. Oil pulling is one of those ancient techniques that has become popular in recent years. To date, more than 20 scientific studies have been done on the effects of oil pulling. In particular, coconut oil pulling is a completely safe technique known to kill bacteria in your mouth and detoxify the oral cavity. It is accomplished by taking one tablespoon of coconut oil and swishing it around your mouth for 20 minutes until it becomes milky white in color. The oil’s change in color means you have effectively trapped bacteria and other toxins. You then spit all the remaining oil into the trash (if you spit into the sink, you risk clogging the pipes), wash your mouth with warm water, and finally, brush your teeth. Because the oil from your mouth is filled with bad bacteria and even toxins, be careful not to swallow during the process of oil pulling.
Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash
When used separately, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are known to help whiten teeth by scrubbing and washing away harmful bacteria in your mouth. Put them together and they become a dynamic duo! Baking soda works well as a teeth whitener because it alkalizes the environment in your mouth, which helps keep harmful bacteria at bay. Hydrogen Peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also has antibacterial properties. Here are a few great recipes for this homemade mouth cleaner and teeth whitener.
Adding one or all of these five practices to your regimen can improve your oral health. They’re worth the time and effort required to build them into your daily and weekly routines. Lifetime Family Dental recommends these practices as part of your home oral care. And in addition, remember to schedule your biannual checkup and professional teeth cleaning with our office.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/29/2018) Rajarshi MITRA (Flickr)