As we age, teeth naturally take on more of a yellowish hue. Consuming teeth-staining foods and drinks, combined with tooth enamel damage, can cause teeth to appear more yellow than white. Of course, not taking proper care of your teeth, or using harmful substances such as tobacco, can accelerate teeth staining.
If you want to whiten your teeth but aren’t quite committed to a professional teeth whitening, there are a few practices you can adopt to help make your teeth whiter. Since many natural ways to whiten your teeth can harm your tooth enamel, it’s essential to exercise caution when attempting to make your teeth whiter naturally.
Here are five natural ways to reduce teeth staining and keep your teeth whiter and shinier for a beautiful smile.
- Take Extra Care When Consuming Staining Foods and Drinks
One of the biggest causes of teeth staining is the foods and drinks you consume. Tea, coffee, wine, cola, and even darker beers can stain teeth over time, leading teeth to appear more yellow, brown, or even gray than white.
Foods such as blueberries, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and beets can all stain your teeth, especially if you consume them regularly. However, you don’t necessarily have to give up your favorite foods and drinks just to get whiter teeth.
Instead, take extra care when consuming these foods and drinks. Drink plenty of water when consuming them to help buffer their staining effect against your tooth enamel. You can also use a straw for certain foods and drinks—such as smoothies that contain berries or iced coffee—to help tooth-staining substances bypass your teeth and reducing staining.
Although it may seem like a good idea to brush your teeth immediately after consuming these foods or drinks, hold off for at least 30 minutes, otherwise you can damage your tooth enamel, which can exacerbate tooth discoloration.
2. Consider Oil Pulling
Although research isn’t conclusive on oil pulling, it may be a practice that could help whiten your teeth. Tentative research shows oil pulling may help remove superficial tooth stains for a whiter smile.
Oil pulling has other benefits for your smile as well. Research shows it can reduce plaque and oral bacteria, which could help support a healthier smile in addition to whiter smile. You can try oil pulling by using about a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil and swishing it around in your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes, then spitting it out.
However, refrain from brushing your teeth immediately after oil pulling—you should still wait at least 30 minutes as you would after eating anything else. You also shouldn’t use oil pulling in place of your regular brushing and flossing. You can do oil pulling once a day or a few times a week to potentially help improve the color of your smile.
3. Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Consuming processed foods that contain sugar can cause damage to your tooth enamel, causing dentin to show through. Dentin is the softer layer beneath your tooth enamel and is naturally a more yellow color than your tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is compromised, teeth can stain easier.
Eating plenty of fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, can help remove plaque from your smile throughout the day, which could help reduce teeth staining. Eating nutrient-rich foods such as whole foods can also provide your teeth with the nutrients they need to stay strong and resist tooth enamel damage.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and celery, don’t just help remove plaque and nourish teeth—they also have a high water content and can help hydrate you, replenishing your saliva to help protect your tooth enamel even more.
4. Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
Research shows that electric toothbrushes help remove more plaque from your smile than manual ones. However, they are also superior to manual toothbrushes when it comes to removing stains from your tooth enamel.
Switching from a manual to an electric toothbrush can help remove stains from your teeth on a daily basis and help you take better care of your teeth. However, you should still only use toothbrush heads with soft bristles, as stiff bristles can damage your tooth enamel, which would have the opposite effect when you’re trying to whiten your teeth naturally!
An electric toothbrush can also help support your gum health better than a traditional toothbrush, which can lead to an overall healthier smile in addition to whiter teeth.
5. See Your Dentist for Regular Cleanings
One of the best ways you can make your teeth whiter is to see your dentist for regular teeth cleanings. Getting your teeth cleaned with your dentist in Asheville can help remove surface stains because your dental hygienist will “polish” your teeth to help them look whiter and cleaner. You’ll also receive a professional flossing to remove any plaque that may be lingering in those tight spaces between your teeth.
Regular dental exams and cleanings can also help prevent damage from plaque that can not only lead to discolored teeth, but oral disease such as tooth decay and gum disease as well. Ideally, you should have an exam every six months, but your dentist can let you know the ideal schedule for your oral care based on your unique oral health.
During your appointment, your Asheville dentist can also talk with you about a professional teeth whitening if your teeth aren’t as bright as you would like. With a professional whitening, you can customize how white your teeth are so you can go for a more subtle brightening or a mega-watt smile.
Have You Tried to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally?
Have you ever tried to whiten your teeth naturally only to have the results be less stellar than you wanted? If so, it’s time to schedule a professional dental exam and cleaning with Saunders DDS. We can professionally clean your teeth to whiten your smile and discuss your teeth whitening options if you’re considering going that route. Request an appointment with us online or call us at (828) 277-6060.