Today's topic: Achieving pearly whites.
I'm pretty picky about my teeth. I try to keep my teeth pretty white because I get extremely self-conscious about my teeth at times. What are some causes of discoloration in the teeth?
Smoking or the use of tobacco is quite possibly the biggest deal. I've seen smokers with brown to black teeth or even no teeth because there was so much damage! The use of tobacco is not only bad for your teeth, it's also detrimental to your overall health. You think your teeth look bad? Imagine your insides. My advice? Quit now. You'll be glad you did.
Drinking certain beverages such as soda, coffee, tea, or wine, can cause staining on the teeth. My advice is to drink through a straw, or just nix these beverages and go for all natural aqua. Water is healthier for you anyway. These beverages I've mentioned actually dehydrate you.
Poor dental hygeine also causes discoloration, which is an obvious one, but important none the less. If possible, brush after every meal. If you can't do that, brush your teeth in your morning routine, and swish with mouth wash after every meal. That way you'll be able to prevent stains as well as bacterial buildup.
Now, I'm sure you've heard of those oh so wonderful (Oh my god, I just pulled a Lila Sawyer) tooth whitening products that completely eat up your stains as well as your money, but is it really worth it? You can actually whiten your teeth naturally without having to fork over a $60 bill every few weeks. I've also listed one tip on how to make it at least look like you have whiter teeth.
Solution One: Brush your teeth with baking soda. You can add a few drops of lemon, or a few drops of water to form a paste, then simply brush your teeth! You can use baking soda in place of your regular toothpaste, or you can rotate the usage of both. Also, my dentist told me that the best way to brush your teeth is to do so in a circular motion at a very slight angle so the bristles reach every crevice of your tooth. Don't forget to brush your tongue! It's a bacterial breeding ground!
Solution Two: Mash up some strawberries (DO NOT TRY THIS IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO STRAWBERRIES) and use the mashed strawberry paste to brush your teeth. The paste can be left alone or mixed with baking soda. I suggest brushing a second time with either the baking soda or your regular toothpaste so you won't have any seeds in your smile. Strawberries have a certain acid in them that actually fight stains.
Solution Three: This I've never really read about or anything, but it's been working for me. I grabbed a bunch of apples in my last grocery trip and have found that by biting into an apple a few times, my teeth felt as though they were scraped clean. After eating my apple, I simply brushed my teeth (sugar is like a buffet for bacteria! Can't have that on my teeth!). The overall appearance of my teeth has changed slightly with this little tidbit.
Solution Four: Get a tan. I DO NOT recommend tanning beds or sitting outside for several hours because this can damage your skin SO MUCH! Here's a secret: I'm half-Mexican and I'm white as paper and even though I'm in my 20s, I've been told I look 14-17. Why? Because I avoid tanning beds and the sun at all costs. I take vitamin D supplements and consume vitamin D enriched foods and beverages. What I do recommend is using a bronzer or self-tanner. Making the rest of you look dark will make your teeth look white because of the contrast. Don't go all orange on me, instead opt for a lotion that doesn't change your appearance overnight, but over time so you are aware of your color. Wear gloves when you apply so you don't stain your hands. I recommend Moist Hemp Bronzing Moisturizer by Creative Lab. It looks like a natural tan, and it smells NOTHING like a bronzer. It actually smells really sweet. Use it after exfoliating in the shower, and for everyone's sake, don't overdo it. A little bronze is enough. There are enough Oompa Loompas on this earth.
Solution Five: Chew on sugar-free gum such as Orbit or Trident. It's good for your teeth, and it smells good. My personal favorite is Sweet Mint, by Orbit. When I've just had a snack and am on the go without mouthwash or anything, I always have a pack of gum on hand.
Take care of your chompers! Be gentle while brushing! Besides having white teeth, keep your breath fresh. You'll never know when you'll be kissing your beloved!