People often underestimate the importance of a white smile. White teeth show that you care about your appearance and take good care of your health. A healthy, clean smile has been known to make people feel more confident and is even something that hiring managers look for in some job industries. If your teeth aren’t as white as they could be, consider these teeth whitening methods to get the smile you want and deserve.
- Avoid Food and Liquids That Stain
Do you have to have your coffee every morning, or is an afternoon soda your go-to pick-me-up? What you might not realize is that drinking these dark liquids could be staining your teeth. There are other culprits as well. If you have the occasional glass of red wine or love to snack on dark berries, your teeth probably aren’t as white as they could be. When you can, avoid food and drinks that may stain your teeth. When you do indulge in your favorite treats, use a straw when you can and brush your teeth as soon as possible after eating or drinking.
- Quit Using Tobacco
Tobacco causes staining on your teeth. Chewing tobacco is the worst culprit, but cigars, pipes, and cigarettes can be just as staining, especially if you are a long-time user. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco is beneficial for more than just keeping your teeth clean, too. Using tobacco dulls your tastebuds, can lead to gum disease or oral cancer, and makes it harder for your gums to heal after dental procedures. If you would like to quit smoking but don’t feel you can do it on your own, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a medication or nicotine patch or to direct you to other smoking cessation resources.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene
One of the easiest ways to maintain whiter teeth is to practice good oral hygiene at home. At a minimum, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Do so when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. However, when you can, brushing after every meal may prove to be more beneficial. Don’t forget to floss, either. Your toothbrush’s bristles can’t reach between your teeth, and the food particles left there can lead to plaque, bad breath, and poor oral health. Floss at least once a day. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
- Use Whitening Products at Home
If regular toothpaste and dental floss aren’t helpful, there are at-home whitening products that you can try. Start simple with a whitening toothpaste. Many of them claim to be able to remove surface stains after only a few days’ use. There are other products you can try as well. Whitening strips, pens, and entire gel kits are available as well. Keep in mind that many of these products won’t work or may even be damaging when not used correctly. Always read the directions thoroughly and consult your dentist if you have any questions.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Good oral hygiene and even at-home whitening products won’t do much good if you’re not regularly visiting a dental center. Your dentist has access to professional tools that clean your teeth, scaling away plaque and stains to help you have the brightest smile possible. In addition to whiter, regular dental checkups ensure you don’t show signs of gum disease, don’t have cavities, and have teeth that are healthy and strong.
If you have regular dental cleanings and still don’t love the shade of your teeth, ask your dentist about professional products. He or she may have a prescription-only option or, at the very least, be able to tell you which over-the-counter products would work best for you. Visit your dentist at least once a year for professional cleaning and a checkup.
Get the smile you deserve. By practicing good oral hygiene at home, visiting your dentist regularly, and using whitening products when needed, you can create a healthy, dazzling smile that you’re proud of. Remember, always use whitening products according to their directions and ask your dentist if you have any questions. If you don’t already have a family dentist, now is the time to find one. Look for someone who is licensed, insured, and has a strong reputation among his or her clients.