Some people are blessed with a strong, white and straight set of teeth. We accuse them of spending half their monthly salary on tooth whitening trips to the dentist, out of envy, but know very well that they’re just genetically lucky. Them about that. The rest of us needs to invest time and effort in order to avoid staining and furthering the damage to your teeth and gums in general.
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Little speaks beauty louder than a sparkling white smile and going that extra mile is worth the effort every single time. This quick guide is here to help you on the way, bust a few teeth whitening myths, and steer you in the right direction of strong and healthy teeth for life.
Do: Brush and floss right
If you brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day, you probably feel like you’re doing a pretty decent job already, which may very well be. The problem is that most people brush and floss carelessly, turning themselves onto autopilot without putting much thought into it.
Brushing and flossing is an active job, people, and you need to hammer down the right technique to reap the most benefits out of the time you spend in there.
What’s the point, after all, in spending a quarter of an hour on your teeth every day if you’re only doing half the job? Start by flossing before you even pick up that toothbrush; the thread is able to get a better grip between your teeth when your mouth isn’t wet from water and toothpaste. Wrap each end around your index finger and get to work, almost embracing the root of your tooth as you’re cleaning the gums around it.
It’s important that you floss all the way to the back of your mouth, where all of those foul bacterias tend to hoard up.
When you’re ready to brush, you need to cover every surface of your mouth. It’s not enough with the surface of your teeth as a mouth includes both gums, the roof of your mouth, as well as your tongue – clean it all, and clean it thoroughly in circular motions. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, you should hold it lightly on each tooth for four to five seconds and then move it over to the next tooth.
Whatever toothbrush variation you’re using, divide your mouth into four quarters and dedicate your full attention to each area before moving onto the next one.
Don’t: Rinse after brushing
This is a controversial one, and some might even disagree with the advice. It’s alright – do your thing, and consult your dentist if you’re not sure. The idea is that, by rinsing your mouth after brushing, you’re spitting out all of that fluoride which could have been beneficial to keep as a protective layer over your teeth. Yet, not rinsing means that you end up either swallowing mouthfuls of leftover toothpaste which doesn’t taste very good – and probably isn’t the best for your stomach either.
Although the experts disagree, we can come to a reasonable conclusion without their confusing advice. Our teeth want the fluoride to stay behind, while our stomachs would rather not; simply use less paste on your toothbrush, have a fluoride pill at the end of the routine, or give your mouth a quick rinse with mouthwash.
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The choice is yours, really, and any of the options will solve your problem without robbing you of that effective fluoride.
It’s not very likely that a certain toothpaste or mouthwash is going to make your teeth look whiter, by the way. Paper white teeth is not the way a natural and healthy smile would look, as most strong teeth are a shade yellower than this.
Sure, the sparkling white Hollywood smiles would disagree, but we know the truth – find the best teeth whitening kits if you’d like to make them a bit whiter than what you’re going to achieve naturally.
Do: Eat crunchy vegetables
We’ve been told to avoid sugary drinks as they damage our teeth – sadly, it’s the same story for fruit juices and anything else that’s slightly sour. For a brighter and whiter smile, put down that can of coke and find yourself an apple instead. Fruits and vegetables that are crunchy and filled with water are good news for your dental hygiene; think apples, carrots, and celery, for example.
These are nice to snack on too, so you’re getting three benefits in one chew: cleaner teeth, a slimmer waistline, and crunchy flavors.
Don’t: Use Mouthwash with alcohol
Most dentist will look fondly towards any mouthwash, especially because they’re easy to use throughout the day. Find one that doesn’t contain alcohol, though, as these ingredients will dry out your mouth and rob you of cleansing saliva.
Spit is the easiest and most effective way for our mouths to keep itself kind of clean, and wash away bacterias as you go; by rinsing it with alcohol, you’re giving it a good wash but also making it more difficult for your mouth to keep itself clean. If you’ve been rinsing with a regular old mouthwash and feel like your mouth is going to burn away, it’s a good idea to find an alcohol free one.
Do: Rinse your mouth throughout the day
If you were to ask a dentist, most of them would recommend that you clean your teeth after every meal. This isn’t always doable – and even if it were, you’d need to keep in mind that brushing right after eating or drinking something sour can seriously damage your teeth. After a glass of juice, a cup of coffee, or even a meal, rinse your mouth with water. Sure, grab the toothbrush if you’d just had a normal sandwich lunch and have enjoyed no oranges, but a simple rinse with water will also do your teeth a lot of good.
Find back to your strong and healthy smile to avoid spectacularly expensive trips to the dentist. Plus, it makes you look a lot better too – if that’s what you’re after.