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Steps to Get and Keep Whiter Teeth

People with whiter teeth are actually more likely to be successful, both in work and in play, according to at least one study. This means it’s a good idea to do what you can to get teeth whiter and keep them that way.

Repair Existing Damage

The first step is to visit a dentist for teeth whitening or use teeth whitening strips to get brighter, whiter teeth. Before doing so, however, make sure that any cavities or damage to the teeth is fixed and be aware that some restorations won’t be whitened the way the natural teeth will. To get these restorations whiter, they would need to be replaced, which is a costly proposition.

Maintain Whiter Teeth

Brush and floss regularly, and visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings and checkups. Using a whitening toothpaste and a whitening mouthwash will help to keep any new stains from sticking around, although these products aren’t typically strong enough to change the shade of the teeth that much on their own. They work best from a maintenance perspective.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

Some foods and beverages are notorious for staining the teeth. Try to avoid them or brush the teeth well after eating or drinking them to limit stains. With beverages, drinking them through a straw can limit the exposure of the teeth to the beverage, and thus make the beverages less likely to stain the teeth.

Some of these foods include acidic foods like citrus, coffee, soda (especially dark colored sodas like colas), sweets, wine (especially red wine), blackberries, pomegranates, blueberries, tomato sauce, and tea. Beets, balsamic vinegar, popsicles, curry, ketchup, and pickles can also increase the risk of stains.

Potentially Beneficial Foods

While some foods tend to stain teeth, some foods may help keep the teeth strong and healthy. These include cheese, water, nuts, high-fiber fruits, strawberries, and baking soda.

Cauliflower, cucumbers, guavas, pears, apples, salmon, onions, pineapple, ginger, green vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, basil, and carrots can also be beneficial. Some of these foods increase saliva production, some act as antibacterial agents, and others act as whitening compounds or strengthen the teeth themselves.