A beautiful smile is often the first thing people notice about you. We’re sure you get compliments all the time, but you can’t have a beautiful smile without healthy, white teeth.
But as most of you may know, brushing and flossing alone don’t cut it. For truly white teeth that make your smile glisten, check out these tips from Dr. Timothy Chase, a 20-year veteran of cosmetic dentistry and a practicing partner at SmilesNY.
1. Drink a Lot of Water – this keeps the body hydrated, increases salivary flow and rinses away food particles.d
2. Eat Crunch Fruits – Crunchy plant foods – such as apples, cauliflower, carrots and celery – work as an abrasive scrub for your teeth. These fruits and vegetables also encourage saliva production, helping to prevent plaque formation.
3. Avoid Sugary Foods & Drinks – High levels of sugar can lower the pH in the mouth, destroying tooth enamel. Bacteria that reside in the mouth eat sugar, creating acid as a byproduct. This acid breaks down and demineralizes the enamel. Bacteria can thrive in the nooks and crannies of this broken down enamel.
4. Stop Smoking – Not only is smoking bad for your health, it stains the teeth and dries out the mouth, decreasing saliva flow.
5. Do NOT Brush Immediately After Eating – By waiting 30 minutes, you give your saliva a chance to remineralize your teeth. When you have a sugary meal, the pH in your mouth lowers, demineralizing the enamel. When you brush right after eating, you can damage the enamel because it is in a weakened state. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait for at least half an hour.
6. Don’t Use Toothpastes Containing Whiteners – Use a fluoride toothpaste to keep your teeth clean and then find a peroxide-based option to keep them white. Chase says the only way to whiten teeth is to apply peroxide to the tooth for an extended period of time.
7. Do Not Eat Sticky Foods – For a dental decay standpoint, avoid foods that are really sticky and can get into the grooves of your teeth. This includes caramel, fruit chews, gummy candies and anything else that can stick to your teeth and lead to enamel breakdown.
Dr. Timothy Chase is a practicing partner in SmilesNY (www.SmilesNY.com), a leading cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City. Dr. Chase attended the State University of Albany where he studied biology. Continuing his education at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine, he earned a DMD degree in 1993. He is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.