Although keeping your teeth white between visits to the dentist might sound as easy as flossing and brushing, you might be surprised at just how quickly problems occur. From stains to cavities to gum problems, you sometimes need to take additional steps to ensure overall gum health.
1. Floss and brush–without rinsing
Of course, it all begins with flossing and brushing. In fact, the actual order of this process should be floss, brush, floss. Flossing first, for instance, allows you to dislodge food from between your teeth. Doing so allows the brush’s bristles to reach every tooth and the furthest reaches of your tooth enamel.
Once you are done brushing, you can then re-floss. Whereas your first flossing helps you focus on dislodging food particles, your second flossing allows you to pay more attention to stimulating your gums. Only by stimulating your gums can you avoid later gum recession.
Finally, when you are done brushing and flossing, experts advise to avoid rinsing. The saliva generated by flossing and brushing further gets rid of bacteria that can cause cavities. This is another reason to not floss last as doing so might leave your mouth filled with food bits.
2. Avoid coffee and wine
The old adage goes something like this: coffee in the morning, wine in the evening. One wakes you up, and the other relaxes you. Both, however, stain your teeth.
In terms of coffee, over time, the dark liquid will be absorbed by tooth enamel. The more you drink, the darker your teeth become. However, wine stains because the wine particles are much more smaller. Wine literally permeates the surfaces of things and leaves a stain. You cannot get wine stains out because the wine is smaller than the surrounding surface pockets.
3. Chew gum
Chewing any gum helps stimulate the salivary glands, and saliva helps begin the process of digestion. Additionally, it helps keep your mouth moist and helps wash the surfaces of your teeth. Finally, it helps kill bacteria known to harm your teeth.
In terms of ingredients, gum with Xylitol does not have any sugar, so the benefits of extra saliva are not negated by the sugar. In fact, Xylitol-based gums are suspected to actually help fight tooth decay. Other types of gum that can help generate extra saliva without adding sugar to your diet include gum sweetened with Stevia.
In terms of schedule, chewing gum after a meal can generate saliva that will wash away food particles and help keep coffee or wine from having time to stain your teeth.
4. Eat crunchy vegetables
Dog owners know that chew toys and crunchy dog treats help keep your dog’s teeth clean by scraping away plaque and food particles. However, for people, eating vegetables help in the same manner. In fact, such foods as carrots are effective ways to keep plaque from building up. Veggies, such as celery, that have high water content, help wash your teeth.
Other smile-friendly veggies include the following.
– raw broccoli
Depending on your teeth, you can sometimes take all the necessary precautions and still have problems with cavities at the base of your teeth. If this happens, you might need a Waterpik, which can help dislodge food particles caught in places flossing and brushing cannot reach.
For instance, Waterpiks work by shooting a compressed stream of water into the spaces between your teeth. Additionally, when you hold it vertically and aim down at your gums, they clean the gum line, helping to both stimulate the gums and get rid of particles. In fact, once pockets form at the base of your teeth, flossing and brushing are no longer 100 percent effective.
In addition to helping dislodge food particles, the water stream helps clean plaque from your teeth. Used in conjunction with flossing and brushing, you can better clean your teeth because the jet of water acts as a miniature power washer.
6. Have a whitening mold made for your teeth
The best advanced method to help keep your teeth white is to use consumer-grade whitener in a mold formed specifically from your teeth. For instance, you can have your dentist make one, which you can then take home with you. Two or three times a week, you can then apply whitener into the mold and sit for an hour or so with the mold in your mouth.