A bright smile isn’t just nice to look at; it’s a sign of strong, healthy teeth. But whitening your teeth goes beyond simply choosing a stronger toothpaste or avoiding dark liquids. In fact, there are a variety of methods you can use to brighten your smile, many of which happen away from your bathroom sink. Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Brush your tongue
Your tongue isn’t just a source of bad breath – it’s a platform for bacteria, which can spread and discolor your teeth. Brushing it is simple: Use long, gentle strokes from back to tip, rinsing the brush between strokes to wash away the bacteria.
2. Use an electric toothbrush
Most electric brushes deliver tens of thousands of strokes per minute, providing more cleaning power than manual brushes. Dentists use them for routine cleanings, and you can use them to help blast away plaque and whiten your teeth daily.
3. Eat raw, crunchy foods
Eating crunchy, high-fiber foods such as carrots, broccoli, almonds, and apples can help naturally remove plaque and surface stains from your teeth.
4. Be smart with beverages
Choose water over coffee, sports drinks, and red wine, all of which can stain your teeth. If you can’t resist a sip, use a straw to protect your teeth from exposure.
5. Chew gum
Chewing gum not only helps remove surface stains, it stimulates salivation, which helps neutralize food acids that can stain teeth.
6. Pick your whitening products wisely
While whitening strips may help remove stains, they have trouble reaching down to the gum line where the darkest stains reside. Instead, consider whitening gel trays which provide greater coverage. Always follow the instructions on the package. Note: pregnant or nursing women should avoid using whitening products.
7. Rinse after eating acidic foods
Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and blueberries all contain vitamins necessary for good health, but their acids can yellow your teeth. Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after snacking on these foods to help prevent acid damage. You can also rinse with a mixture of two parts water to one part apple cider vinegar.
8. Replace your toothbrush
It’s a simple task, but neglecting can lead to yellowed teeth. Use a new toothbrush as soon as the bristles start to bend or fray. If you use a mechanical brush, be sure to keep several replacement brush heads on hand.
If you’re unsure about a whitening product, ask your dentist for advice. Remember that not all products are safe or effective, so rely on the professionals to help you determine which ones to use.
Or, if you’re interested in becoming one of the professionals, you can study to become a dental assistant and help others learn the value of healthy teeth. At Penn Foster Career School, you can complete our Dental Assistant program on your own time and learn what it takes to help people achieve strong teeth and bright, healthy smiles.