Greener Paths to Whiter Teeth

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While chemical-based tooth whitening kits are all the rage, a lot of us forget there are several things we should do - and other practices that we should avoid - in order to keep smiles whiter and brighter without the help of fancy boxed kits or cosmetic procedures.
Thing you should do: 
  • Scrub weekly with some baking soda and a clean washcloth.

There is no need to invest in new toothpaste; simply dab a little bit of the paste on a wet or damp washcloth and give your teeth a gentle scrubbing. Limit this practice to about once a week or less, though, as overdoing it could possibly erode the enamel the protects your teeth.

  • Brush after every meal

Always a good practice. If it seems like this would be too inconvenient in a situation where you're at the office or dining out, consider carrying a travel toothbrush and toothpaste in your bag for quick bathroom trips...

  • Rinse with water after eating

Especially if brushing is impractical or impossible at the time, a quick water rinse helps prevent stains while reminding you to stay hydrated! This will help remove some acids and food particles from your mouth that could damage your teeth and gums.

  • Indulge in strawberries and dairy products

Dairy foods helps keep bones - including our teeth - strong and cavity-free, while strawberries carry a natural acidity that has been shown to have a scrubbing effect on teeth. However, the baking soda rule applies here, as well. More than a handful of berries a day may erode your enamel if consumed altogether, so be careful with this.

Things that you should avoid doing:
  • Ingest a large amount of coffee, red wine, black teas or other dark beverages, especially after a dental visit when your teeth are especially sensitive.
  • Skip your yearly dental cleaning. No amount of at-home care can substitute for a trip to the dentist.
  • Skimp on your brushing time. Even those of us who are diligent about brushing twice a day often don't brush as well or as long as we should. Four minutes is a good rule of thumb, and don't forget to floss.
  • Obsess over the color of your teeth if they are healthy overall. Some people's teeth will stain faster or differently than others due to genes and environmental factors, and there's no reason to expect your natural teeth to match a celebrity's blindingly-white, custom veneers.

Remember at least a few of these key tips when it comes to whitening, and you're well on your way to a brighter smile!

A health enthusiast, F.R. (Felix) writes tips for keeping our physical fitness and oral health in top condition. Look for related topics on this high quality Arlington dental blog. Honored as dentist for the Texas Rangers baseball team, his own team in Arlington, TX creates beautiful smiles and specializes in reducing anxiety using stress-free dental care in a comfortable environment.
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