Not So Pearly Whites

Written by Advice Team on November 4, 2015

Some foods and drinks are just plain bad for your teeth, and as fate would have it it’s normally the things we love most - red wine, tea, coffee, fruit juice and fizzy drinks amongst others, that do the worst damage. Not only does the sugar and acid in some food and drinks damage teeth by thinning the enamel and causing decay, it can also stain them. As a consequence as we get older our pearly whites become less... pearly white!

Luckily there are some things you can do to minimise the effect day to day without going without. Here’s our 10 secrets to a brighter, whiter smile:

1. Eat hard fruit and vegetables such as apples, pears and carrots to trigger saliva production which neutralises the acid found in many foods.

2. Drink through a straw so the liquids don’t touch the surface of our teeth.

3. Rinse your mouth with plain water after every meal and snack.

4. Invest in a good quality electric toothbrush, they are far more effective and deliver a much deeper clean than manual brushing.

5. Floss your teeth every night.

6. Use an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day and ensure it doesn’t contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride.

7. Get your teeth professionally cleaned by the dentist at least twice a year

8. Don’t use tobacco, ever. It is one of the worst offenders for staining teeth and causing gum disease.

9. Use a whitening toothpaste once or twice a week to remove surface stains and polish your teeth.

10. Some antibiotics, antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and blood pressure medications cause tooth stains, as can iron and excess fluoride so watch your medications.

These day to day tips will stop any further damage and staining but if the damage is already done you may want to consider using an at-home teeth whitening kit or getting your teeth professionally whitened. Remember though that these treatments contain bleach and are pretty severe; they can cause sensitivity so prevention is always better than cure.

There’s no getting around it, a bright smile looks great and a full set of gleaming gnashers is far more attractive than yellowing, stained teeth. So what are you waiting for? Build these secrets into your everyday routine and be on your way to whiter teeth and a brighter smile.