We’re all susceptible to a few bad habits aren’t we; we’re only human after all. Clean living is all well and good, but not all the time. Occasionally it’s nice to indulge in a glass of red wine with a curry; what would Saturday nights be without such pleasures? The only problem being of course, that our gnashers take a bit of a hit, and in terms of winning smiles, society seems to dictate that the whiter the better.
There are plenty of methods of whitening our teeth. A cosmetic procedure such as bleaching is one, but is that not taking vanity a little bit far? There are plenty of toothpastes out there which claim to whiten teeth with varying results.
What about natural remedies? Are there foodstuffs out there which will naturally whiten teeth? Well yes, actually, and here are ten of the best:
Apples, celery and carrots – Certain vegetables such as the three candidates above naturally increase the amount of saliva we produce. Saliva is the body’s natural stain remover, which means whiter teeth can result from a fruit and veg binge. So not only will you have a healthy glow, so will your teeth. There are also other dental benefits. These food items are particularly high in vitamin C, which can prevent gum disease and will kill nasty odor causing bacteria, making you a joy to sit by in the office.
Oranges and lemons and the bells of St Clements – That’s a very long winded way of saying citrus fruit, and whatever you do don’t try and eat a bell, it will do nothing for your teeth at all. The acidic nature of these fruits will actively bleach your teeth, and as with the above morsels, they also encourage the production of saliva, which naturally cleans teeth. Don’t overdo it though, the citric acid can be counterproductive and actually damage teeth. A bit of lemon juice diluted in some water is the way to go.
Milk and cheese – Dairy products such as milk and cheese are excellent for maintaining the healthy development of teeth. Milk in coffee and tea is excellent as it reduces the staining capabilities of these drinks, leaving you to enjoy a worry free brew. They are also high in both calcium and vitamin D, which is great for developing teeth with healthy foundations.
Strawberries – There is an enzyme which is naturally occurring in strawberries called malic acid, which is an active ingredient in a number of whitening toothpastes. However, there is a slight hitch – to get the full benefit from these enzymes it is best to wash the strawberries around the mouth for a good minute, or squash the strawberry and rub it on your teeth. So that said, it’s probably best to leave it until you’re alone.
Baking soda – To quote an Arm and Hammer advertisement of old, “that’ll be the baking soda”, and they were right. It was. Baking soda is one of the strongest natural whiteners out there. The science behind this – baking soda is an acid neutraliser. This works to gently remove stains as well as preventing the build up of enamel. And you don’t need to buy specialist toothpastes to benefit from this chemical agent. Simple sprinkle some baking soda onto your toothpaste each day and away you go.
Use a straw – It’s not strictly a foodstuff this one, well not at all actually, but using a straw for drinks which might otherwise stain teeth means they completely bypass the mouth, so cannot effect the teeth. Careful when using it with alcoholic drinks though; firstly you’ll look a little bit like a drunk, and secondly, you’ll end up being a little bit drunk.
These ideas are all well and good and over the longer term you will likely see some progress if you adhere to them carefully. However, if you regularly drink coffee and red wine and enjoy the occasional cigarette, then you’re going to need to take a different approach, and cosmetic teeth whitening may well be your best option.