How to Get and Keep a Brilliant Smile

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An essential element to beauty today is a gleaming smile with white, healthy-looking teeth.  Products abound to help your teeth gleam, most of them relatively inexpensive and easy to use.  And perfectly white teeth require a lot of maintenance.  Teeth yellow and stain easily from food and drink.  Coffee is one culprit.     But there is hope.  We have assembled some tips to keep your teeth looking their pearly-white best:

Natural Whiteners
There are a number of natural whitening agents in your pantry.  One favorite is toothpaste made from baking soda, salt and lime.   The lime is an important addition to protect the enamel of your teeth.

Your diet can prevent stains.  Strawberries have a bleaching effect on your teeth.  And veggies such as cucumbers, broccoli, carrots and raw sweet potatoes actually prevent stains by dissolving food molecules.

This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked.  Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after you eat.  It prevents food stains from “setting”.  You can achieve this by chewing sugarless gum if you can’t rinse.  Make sure it’s sugarless!  Cheese has also been cited as a good “after dinner” follow up, if you have eaten a sugary dessert.

Make sure you brush at least twice a day: am and pm (before bed).   Don’t use your whitening toothpaste every day – it’s too harsh.  Use it a couple times a week and regular toothpaste most of the time.

Watch the Coffee Breaks
Reduce your coffee, tea, and cola intake.  They are prime staining candidates.  If you do drink them, use a straw to keep the liquid from hitting your teeth.   And while you are avoiding things…avoid sugary snacks.  They add plaque to teeth, making them look dingy.

Get Professional Cleanings
See your Dentist every year for a thorough cleaning.  If you smoke, eat a lot of sugar (or drink alcohol), and drink a lot of coffee/tea/cola drinks, you are going to need to have your teeth cleaned more often.  Six months is recommended to keep your teeth their whitest white.