Picture this: you’re sitting alone in the library and happen to glance up from your work. They’re sitting directly across from you, the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen. This is it. You’re about to meet your soulmate. Your eyes meet. You smile. Their eyes flick down to your teeth. They are stained and yellow. They look away, pack up their things and leave. That’s it. You’re alone for the rest of your life.
Think that story is a little dramatic? Maybe it is, but either way, the sad end to the tale can easily change with just a few tricks. Having white teeth doesn’t have to be hard. By changing a few habits, you can cultivate a life that will keep your teeth white, so you’re ready for the moments that matter. Everyone feels better with a little whiter smile!
1. Combat Foods That Stain Your Teeth
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There are certainly darker foods that will stain your teeth if you’re not careful. If you’re rolling your eyes right now because you’ve already heard that coffee and dark sodas stain your teeth, but you have no intention of stopping your consumption of those liquids, stay with me. You don’t have to stop drinking them to save your teeth. A quick tip to save your pearly whites is to use a straw. This keeps the liquid from saturating your teeth every time you take a sip.
But coffee and soda aren’t the only foods that can stain your teeth. Dark sauces–like marinara and curry–can stain your teeth. Try switching those out for lighter, creamy sauces like alfredo or other white sauces. Even vibrant colored berries can leave stains on your chompers. Just being aware of these foods can help you eat them in moderation and effectively clean your teeth after consuming them. And maybe you can avoid these foods on your first date with the love of your life, just to be safe.
2. You Guessed It: Floss
You know that brushing your teeth is essential to keeping your teeth squeaky clean. I don’t need to tell you that. But I know you’re probably not flossing as you should. Seriously! Flossing will immediately improve the brightness of your teeth. Flossing, and flossing right.
It’s important to know when to floss. It is generally recommended that you floss first and brush second. That’s because flossing removes food debris from between your teeth. If you don’t brush after flossing, that debris will just chill in your mouth. It’s important to brush after to remove the debris that the floss just freed from between your teeth.
3. Go to the Dentist
I know it’s sometimes a hassle and a little unnerving, but it is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Even if you brush and floss regularly, your teeth still accumulate tartar, a solid layering of plaque than a regular toothbrush and paste can’t remove. The dentist will also check for oral cancer, gum disease and head off any cavities that may be brewing. Any of these things that go unchecked can seriously damage your pearly whites and their alluring power in the library.
Still, moaning about the inconvenience? There are ways to integrate the dentist into your life and lessen the hassle. Find a dentist that’s close. With the influx of popularity around mobile dentistry, your work may even provide an onsite dentist at your office. Every time you finish an appointment, schedule another, so you don’t have to do it later. Make friends with your dentist and the staff, so it’s not as intimidating.
4. Kick Smoking and Tobacco
You probably already know this, but you’re definitely sabotaging your teeth if you smoke or use tobacco products. It may not be simple, but you won’t regret stopping, and your teeth will thank you.
According to the CDC: “For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.”
5. Consume those Fruits and Vegetables
Now, this has nothing to do with starting a diet (although I’m sure your body won’t complain). When you eat crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables, it actually rubs plaque off of your teeth as you chew. Now when you meet your soulmate at the library, you’ll have white teeth AND a nice body.
Some specific foods even have compounds and proteins that lighten and brighten your teeth. Some examples are watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, and dairy products. While certainly not a replacement for brushing (and–you know it–flossing), you are adding another layer of oral health to your habits by supplementing your diet with these types of foods.
Dental Hygiene Is About More Than White Teeth
These little changes to your schedule and habits can make a big difference for your chompers. As you know, good dental hygiene is a big part of hygiene and health in general. Especially since teeth and mouth problems become worse and worse as we age, taking good care of your mouth while you’re young pays huge dividends. By cultivating good oral hygiene habits, you may be able to sidestep painful operations and expensive medications in the future. Pay your teeth back for all they do, and they will come through for you. When you smile at your soulmate in the library, they might just smile back.
Featured Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash