Let’s all admit that we have our guilty pleasures. That strawberry lollipop you saw at the candy store, or the hot coffee you had this morning; those occasional alcoholic beverages or cigarettes you might have taken. This ‘joie de vivre’ may be the highlight of your day, but it may not be true for your pearly white teeth. Read on, and find out if your habits destroy your teeth.
The Plaque Dilemma
Along the way, you may pick up a thing or two on how you can achieve that gleaming Halle Berry-esque Hollywood smile. Your mouth is an outpost of bacteria that coats and stains your teeth with a yellowish, sticky film called plaque. Plaque produces acids that actively destroy your teeth’s enamel by breaking down sugar and starch found in food. Don’t laze away to using that mighty toothbrush because once those plaque hardens, it becomes tartar. This causes gum disease and affects teeth leaving you with cavities and tooth decay. Understanding the cause of the problem is half the solution.
So what causes tooth decay?
Food high in sugar and carbohydrates (starch)
Carbonated drinks, coffee, tea, wine alcohol
Tobacco use / smoking
Excessive fluoride intake found in food or water
There’s nothing you can do to prevent this
Bad oral habits
What to Do?
Start brushing 2 to 3 times daily and flossing once a day Mainly, you just need to keep a good oral habit. Ideally, it’s best to brush your teeth 2 to 3 times a day, 30 minutes after eating. The acid produced by broken down food may still linger and brushing right after eating may spread the acid and gnaw through your teeth’s enamel.
Flossing is another important habit you should incorporate once a day to your hygiene and remove persistent food and plaque left in between your teeth your toothbrush may have missed. These simple habits save you a trip to the dentist and a few dollars.
More Calcium Intake
Good sources of calcium are milk, salmon, almonds and green leafy vegetables. You can get Vitamin D from the sun, believe it or not. Other sources can be milk, fatty fish, margarine and from vegetables.
Nutrition is also vital to healthy white teeth and gums. Make sure to get enough calcium to fortify teeth and bones. Vitamin D is essential too. It helps absorb calcium to the body.
Ways to Achieve Pearly White Teeth
Now we know how to keep our gums and teeth healthy, it’s time to turn on the vanity light – achieving whiter teeth! Basically, there are three ways to get sparkling white teeth: the free way, the cheap way, and the expensive way. You don’t need to spend money to whiten your teeth but it may take a long time before you see results. Everything you need is in your kitchen cupboard. Sprinkle baking soda on your toothbrush before brushing. Or you may mix equal parts of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Like toothpaste, brush the mixture to your teeth. Do not swallow. Then brush with toothpaste after. Do not use this mixture more than once a week.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide on your teeth may take time to see results, and plus, let’s admit, it’s not heaven in your mouth. Good thing, there are alternatives. Drug stores now sell affordable whitening strips. These over-the-counter strips are fairly affordable, user-friendly, and effective. However, you cannot achieve instant results with these strips. The length of time you will see the effects will depend on the strength of the peroxide it holds.
Whitening Trays and Gels
Another inexpensive way to treat stained teeth is whitening trays and gels. The time it takes to achieve whiter teeth is pretty much the same with that of the strips. The gels contain peroxide that effectively whitens teeth. The gels are usually worn with the tray overnight while you sleep. Results can be seen in over a week of use. You can get these tools over the counter or you can ask your dentist for a more effective result. Doing it the expensive way may prove to be beneficial, as well, and may save you time and money in the long run.
If you want it white right now, you can visit your dentist and ask for an in-office bleaching. It just takes minutes to over an hour to get excellent results!