Your teeth can reflect the state of your health, beauty and even intelligence. The results of a recent survey showed that people tend to associate those with great looking white teeth as more trustworthy, confident and intelligent. In a 2014 study by Bupa UK, 67% of the 2,000 employees considered a great smile to be an important asset at work. Further, 42% said that people with healthy teeth came across as much more authoritative than those with bad teeth.
Healthy smile guidelines
A good crunchy apple can actually replicate the motions of your toothbrush. When you chew on an apple it brushes the surface of your teeth, removing food and the buildup of any bacteria. Apples are also great breath fresheners. If you’re on the run, an apple is a great option if you don’t have time to brush your teeth, but it doesn’t mean you should give up your regular toothpaste and toothbrush routine!
Aside from assisting in your oral hygiene, apples are also a great high-quality source of vitamin c, phenols, flavonoids and fibre.
How to get rid of stains
Cleaning between teeth and along the gumline is the only way to get your teeth thoroughly clean. Flossing is the traditional method of cleaning between teeth and along the gumline and is ideal for smaller gaps between teeth, where a toothbrush otherwise cannot reach. When food is trapped between the teeth, plaque can form and lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath.
Again apples are great for helping remove stains as they naturally contain malic acid. Many toothpastes specialising in whitening properties synthetically add malic acid as it is known to whiten teeth by removing stubborn stains.
Here are some simple rules to follow if you really want to get a beautiful smile with lifelong healthy teeth!
Make this a habit
1. Brush for a full 2 minutes a day, twice a day to reduce plaque and keep your gums healthy and your teeth white.
2. Use dental floss. This will get the plaque out of the hard to reach areas. Ensure you don’t force the floss between the teeth as you can easily tear the gum. Cutting off a large section of floss allows you to move along the line and utilise a clean section of floss for each tooth.
3. If when brushing you notice bleeding this could be a sign of gingivitis. This is an inflammation of the gum, where the gum can start to erode away from the teeth, increasing the likelihood of teeth falling out.
4. Ultrasonic toothbrushes are very useful at dislodging plaque from the gums, just think about how many extra brush strokes you get with an electric toothbrush compared to a regular toothbrush.
5. As mentioned above certain fruits like apples are famed for sweetening the breath.
6. Sugar-free chewing gum is useful for producing saliva and massaging your gums. The biggest cause of plaque buildup is when we don’t take care to clean our teeth between meals and snacks. Gum is a great option as you can conveniently chew gum throughout the day as needed. Avoid any chewing gum that contains sugar as it actually feeds the bad bacteria on your teeth which leads to plaque.
7. Avoid smoking as this is not only harmful to the body but also stains your teeth yellow. Both nicotine and tar are responsible for yellow teeth. While the staining is on the external surface of the teeth, stains can still make their way into any cracked teeth. Because the stains are only external, it is possible to remove them but because they are so stubborn, it could become a costly process as for effective results you most likely need professional teeth whitening.
Smoking and other tobacco products can lead to gum disease by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. More specifically, it appears that smoking interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells. This interference makes smokers more susceptible to infections, such as periodontal disease, and also seems to impair blood flow to the gums – which may greatly affect wound healing.
8. Other teeth stainers are: Coffee & tea, berries, red wine, red grapes, curry, dark coloured fizzy drinks and any dark fruit juice. Just because these foods and drinks are known teeth stainers doesn’t mean you have to give them up, just take the extra time to clean your teeth afterwards, whether by brushing, flossing, chewing gum or using a mouthwash.
9. Extremely hot or cold liquids are dangerous to your white smile because they change the temperature of your teeth. Dentists describe this as “thermal stress” as the temperature change causes teeth to expand and contract. The stress on the teeth causes small but visible cracks to form. This therefore increases the likelihood of staining to build up in the cracks.
How to get rid of stains
- If your teeth are mildly discoloured, stains can be removed by tooth whitening, bleaching or micro-abrasion. There is an array of DIY teeth whitening kits available on the market and they offer the most cost efficient option.
2. Limit the intake of foods that stain your teeth or take extra care after eating known foods (as above) that stain teeth. Brush and floss your teeth every day. Try to use an electric toothbrush over a regular toothbrush.
3. Use a mouthwash with an antibacterial action to help dissolve plaque. Mouthwashes are also great to freshen breath and prevent gingivitis and tooth decay from occurring.
You can use any or all of the above techniques to maintain the best method to fit into your daily routine. Taking a few minutes out of your day to care for your smile will reduce the amount of visits you need to pay to the dentist.
Bupa media release: www.bupa.com/media-centre/press-releases/uk/leadership-smile/
Temperature change to teeth: www2.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=276125
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