You’re probably familiar with “White Christmas,” the song by Irving Berlin and the film by the same name. Here in Fort Collins, we’ll hope to get enough snow for one this year. But at Dr. Owens’ office, we’re focused on another type of white Christmas, one that concerns your pearly whites.
If you’re dreaming of that kind of white Christmas, we can help. There are many ways to whiten your teeth, both in-office and at home. While the whitening provided by our office is much faster and more effective, we wanted to share these inexpensive, at-home tips and tricks to a whiter smile!
For help maintaining a white smile, eat vegetables or fruits that are firm or crisp, especially at the end of a meal. These help prevent plaque buildup if you are not at a place where you can brush your teeth. Foods considered to be “nature’s toothbrush” include: apples, celery, carrots, broccoli, spinach, etc.
Eat nutritious foods
Seek out the proteins in dairy products that shield teeth from stains; the malic acid found in strawberries; and the saliva-producing agents in apples, oranges, celery, and carrots (which help your mouth create more of its chief self-cleaner and keep your teeth sparkling). Acidic citrus fruits can also help whiten teeth, but be sure to use in moderation since they can also eat away at enamel.
Be smart about stain-causing foods and beverages
While beverages like coffee, tea and juice can be some of the chief perpetrators of teeth stains, several little tips can help prevent or slow staining. If you do drink coffee and tea, add some milk or creamer. If you enjoy juice with your lunch, drink water or milk immediately after to rinse out that staining liquid. Of course, avoid smoking and tobacco use as they cause severe staining and have other negative side effects for oral health. Also, it’s a great general rule to drink water and/or brush your teeth immediately after you finish your beverage of choice.
Use Baking Soda
Choose a toothpaste that contains baking soda, or brush with baking soda alone to create your own homemade version of a store-bought whitener. Brushing with baking soda each day can help whiten your smile, but it’s abrasive, so you will want to consult a dentist if you begin to experience sensitivity. Again, for best results, brush as quickly as possible after eating or drinking to keep those teeth dazzling white!
There are so many options for “whitening” toothpastes out there – be sure to do some fact-checking before you pick one. Not all whitening toothpastes work as they claim to, and many can actually be harmfully abrasive. For help deciding, consult our toothpaste abrasiveness index. Aim for a toothpaste that whitens (has chlorine dioxide, baking soda, peroxide, etc), but won’t eat away at your teeth. For example, we recommend CloSYS 2 — a great option for safe and effective home care developed by a periodontist.
Try one or all of the above tips to find an at-home whitening method that works for you. If you are interested in a faster, more effective method of whitening, click here to check out the services we offer in our office. As always, feel free to contact us if you have any questions about getting a white smile!
Wishing you and yours a joyous Christmas season,
The Team at Owens DDS