The Jakarta Post
Some foods have a whitening impact on teeth, while others stain them. (Shutterstock/Ocskay Mark)
If the enamel, the outer layer of your teeth, thins away, dentin appears. This layer of tissue beneath the enamel makes your teeth look darker as dentin has a yellow-brown color. Also, acidic foods and drinks, gum disease, or certain types of antibiotics can affect your teeth.
Below are some things you can do if you are longing for white and healthy teeth.
Adapt your diet
Some foods have a whitening impact on teeth, while others stain them. As a rough guide you might say all dark colored things turn your teeth yellow, such as red wine, black tea, coffee or dark juices. But red sauces and dark dressings can also stain your teeth. If you do not want to cut out these foods, brushing your teeth after eating is recommended.
Thirty minutes after consuming so-called “teeth stainers” is the perfect time to brush your teeth, Medical News Today advises. Apples, also called “nature´s toothbrush”, are also good for teeth-cleaning.
What you should absolutely add to your shopping list are cauliflower, strawberries, cheese, yogurt, nuts, onions and celery. They are healthy and whiten your teeth as well. Also, papayas and pineapples are effective as their enzymes help to whiten your teeth.
If you are a smoker you should consider quitting as smoking cigarettes stains your teeth as well.
Read also: Seven foods that may harm your teeth
Use the right equipment
A fresh toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste are essential equipment for whiter teeth. Make sure you soak the brush in antibacterial liquid regularly and replace it from time to time. If you use an electric one, the head has to be changed every two to three months as well. A fresh toothbrush is important to avoid bacteria getting in your mouth.
Also, make sure to use your toothbrush correctly. Beverly Hills dentist Harold Katz explained that placing the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion was the best method, Reader´s Digest reported.
Regarding toothpaste, you can even prepare your own homemade whitening paste. Just add some peppermint oil and lemon juice to coconut oil with bicarbonate soda. Your DIY toothpaste will have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect, as well as a minty flavor.
Regular oral hygiene routine
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, also around the gums and the back of the teeth. Brushing off plaque and bacteria in the morning prevents bad breath. Before going to bed at night cleaning plaque off is important as well since saliva, which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth, dries up at night. Also, flossing can help remove plaque between the teeth. Mouthwashes should always be alcohol-free, otherwise, tissue in the mouth can dry out, which makes them susceptible to bacteria.
Never forget to clean your tongue as well. By using a tongue scraper, you can remove all plaque and ensure fresh breath.
Instead of professional tooth bleaching, which is expensive and not good for the enamel, you can use these household remedies: mashed strawberries, coconut oil, activated charcoal, basil leaves, mustard oil or turmeric powder. All of them have a cleaning and whitening effect on your teeth.
Baking soda once a week
Using baking soda to whiten teeth has been a controversial topic for a long time, some say it is too harsh and affects the enamel. A study from 2017, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, confirmed that it has no negative impacts and actually whitens teeth. Polishing away stains on the surface of the teeth, it is a safe way to remove plaque and fight bacteria.
You can use baking soda (or salt) like toothpaste to remove stains. But it should never replace brushing your teeth, rather it should be an addition to your daily oral hygiene routine. (sop/kes)