The Four Keys to Whiter Teeth

Categories Grooming

Steps to guarantee that beaming, white smile.

Watch what you eat and drink

Your pearly whites will shine a lot brighter if you stop throwing stains at them, so cut out coffee, sugar, and cigarettes (handy advice for your overall wellbeing, not only your dental hygiene). In fact, anything that can stain a white shirt can also stain your teeth, so take care of your teeth after indulging in red wine, curry, soft drink, and dark berries. On the other hand, crunchy foods like apples and carrots remove surface stains by producing lots of saliva and scrubbing away plaque — same story with sugarless gum, which stimulates saliva and protects teeth from decay.

 

Brush and floss

Whitening toothpaste isn’t a silver bullet — they only tackle superficial stains — but daily maintenance strengthens enamel and wards off yellowing, especially along the gum line. An electric toothbrush is the best clean you can get, but if you use a manual brush, make sure you buy a new one at least every three months, as soon as the bristles become limp and worn. A good scrub removes stains before they settle into the enamel, while mouthwash and floss also fight decay.

Do it yourself

There are a stack of tooth-whitening kits you can pick up in the supermarket that use a mild bleach to whiten surface stains like coffee. Bleaching pens, whitening strips carrying a peroxide gel, a paste applied by a tray — each with a different degree of efficacy depending on which expert you listen to. Favourite DIY home remedies include baking soda with lemon juice, activated charcoal, and weak hydrogen peroxide solutions . . . if you can stand the taste, and the hit-and-miss results.

 

See your dentist

The strongest bleach is locked up in the dentist’s office, so make an appointment. The professionals’ potent hydrogen peroxide solution is much, much stronger than what’s in a tube of Colgate, and is the only way to remove those tough stains by bleaching the colour of the enamel under those intense blue lights that accelerate the oxidisation process. Bleach also doesn’t have any medical side effects, besides a bit of gum sensitivity that goes away quickly.