It’s no secret that healthy teeth are important. But did you know the appearance of your teeth affects how people see you?
Approximately 90% of American adults believe that “bad” teeth can impact a person’s personal and professional life. That goes to show why 25% of the people wearing braces in the U.S. are over the age of 18.
While you do need the professional help of an orthodontist to repair misaligned teeth, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to improve the overall appearance of your teeth naturally.
Take care after chowing down
The reason why your teeth stain and become yellow is that the top layer of your teeth, called the enamel, is porous. This means your enamel acts like a sponge and soaks up the dark-colored liquids you drink including coffee, tea, soda, wine, juice, and more.
The good news is it’s surprisingly easy to avoid staining your teeth. After you’ve had your morning coffee or tea, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water afterward.
At the end of the day, be sure to brush, floss, and use an antibacterial mouthwash. This will help with stains and your overall health considering 40% of kids have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten and 90% of adults have at least one cavity.
Avoid or quit smoking
Tobacco stains your teeth whether you’re chewing or smoking it. Just like drinking dark liquids or eating things like blueberries, soy sauce, and beets, your enamel soaks up the tobacco periodically.
Smoking is also a problem for your health in general and is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths. But quitting smoking can be difficult due to nicotine withdrawal.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms typically peak within one to three days and then gradually decrease over three to four weeks. That’s about the same amount of time it takes to recover from a total hip replacement, which takes four to six weeks. Ask your doctor for advice on how you can quit smoking while managing your nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Eat the right food
While some foods like cranberries and blueberries can stain your teeth, other foods can naturally brighten your teeth. These foods include cauliflower, strawberries, cheese, apples, and celery.
But how do these foods help naturally whiten your teeth? It’s a mix of chewing, nutrients, and acids.
Cauliflower, celery, and apples are nutrient-rich foods that take longer to chew and create a scrubbing motion in your mouth when you eat them. The longer you chew, the more saliva your mouth produces. Saliva not only helps to break down food but is also a natural cleanser for your teeth.
Strawberries contain an enzyme known as malic acid, which naturally whitens your teeth. And cheese, like other dairy products, contains lactic acid and the enamel-fortifying mineral calcium. This means cheese not only whitens your teeth but strengthens them at the same time.
Be sure to inspect and wash your produce before you eat it. According to the CDC, one in six Americans gets sick every year from consuming contaminated food. That said, give your produce a quick scrub before you eat it, even if the produce has a peel.
It’s normal to want your teeth to look their very best. By following the tips above, you can reduce your risk of staining your teeth while improving your dental health and your overall health at the same time.