Dr. Margaret Mitchell, DDS, of the Chicago-based Mitchell Dental Spa, provides a few tips for Natural Solutions readers on how to achieve a bright, beautiful, and healthy smile.
>> Wear lipsticks that contain a hint of blue
Blue tones around the mouth can make teeth appear whiter by offsetting any yellow coloration in the teeth, so when shopping for new makeup, consider red lipstick with blue undertones. Coral and orange-based lipsticks can make teeth appear more yellow.
>> Snack on crunchy fruits and veggies
Mildly abrasive fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, or celery not only provide the body with essential nutrients, but also act as a natural toothbrush by gently scrubbing off small bits of plaque that have gathered on the teeth and gums.
>> Swish with water after drinking coffee or tea
Coffee, tea, and other dark liquids can stain teeth and leave them looking dingy. To prevent discoloration, simply swish water around in your mouth immediately after consuming a staining liquid.
>> Chew sugarless gum containing xylitol
Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar substitute, has been added to many sugar-free gums as a sweetening agent, but it also has healthful properties. Chewing gum containing xylitol has been shown to reduce the levels of harmful oral bacteria, reducing the likelihood of developing cavities.
>> Brush teeth before going for a run
Running dries out the mouth and any plaque that already exists on the gum-line will dry out and calcify, resulting in discoloration and even gum disease. A quick brush before going on a run can help solve the problem.
>> Brush teeth before bed
It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.
>> Brush the correct way
The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis (early gum disease).
Achieving a healthy smile takes a lifetime of care. Even if you’ve been told that you have nice teeth, it’s crucial to take the right steps every day to take care of them and prevent problems.