Brushing morning and night, plus keeping a brush and mouthwash by your desk at work, is essential to maintaining a healthy and ageless smile. Regular check-ups and a professional clean by your dentist are also advised, but don’t leave it any longer than six months.
How many times has your dentist asked you, “how often do you floss?” Brushing your teeth only cleans the surface of your teeth, so you need to floss to clean in between your teeth where bacteria gathers and stains become predominant. According to most dentists, if you don’t floss, you’re more likely to develop plaque build-up, tooth decay and gingivitis (gum disease).
We all know coffee stains our teeth, but are we willing to give up our morning kick-start to maintain our teeth? In most cases, the answer is likely, no. But you can try to eliminate the damage by drinking a glass of water or two after your morning coffee. It will assist with washing the surface of your teeth. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker, brush your teeth a third time during the day. Once in the morning after breakfast, after you’ve had lunch and a seriously good clean before bed.
It’s not only the colour of red wine that can cause discolouration and teeth problems. The acids found in red wine can also erode enamel. But who doesn’t love a glass of red wine after or during a delicious meal? The best tip is to drink a glass of water in between glasses of wine. Not only will this help keep you hydrated and avoid a hangover – it will also help wash your enamel. Brushing with whitening fluoride toothpaste is also advised.
The same rules for coffee apply to your morning cup of tea. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking or add a dash of milk, it will help prevent stains adhering to the teeth and remember to brush morning and evening.
Chewing sugar-free gum that contains plaque-reducing xylitol has the added benefit of promoting salivary flow, says New York-based celebrity dentist Dr Elisa Mello. "This will clean your teeth and break down any remaining food particles in the mouth."
"Apples are great teeth-cleansing fruits. Many believe that eating them cleanses the teeth and removes staining,” Dr Sherri Worth, an L.A. based celebrity dentist tells ELLE.
"Dark foods, sodas and liquids such as coffee, tea, and red wine tend to stain teeth. If you’re serious about preserving healthy, white teeth, drink staining liquids through a straw and always rinse or brush your teeth after consuming dark fluids," Dr Sherri Worth, says.
"Wearing bright red lipstick will make your teeth pop and appear whiter than they are!" Dr Elisa Mello says. And here’s a little bonus tip: choose a blue-based lipstick colour, it will create a brightening, optical illusion.