1. Brush up on your dental regimeYou can’t hope to get terrific teeth without brushing correctly. To keep your teeth as clean they can be, you should ideally be brushing morning and night for two minutes at a time. Most people brush in a vigorous back and forth motion but in fact it’s far better to brush in small, light circles. Brushing too hard can strip the enamel off the tooth and reveal the layer of yellow dentin below - so be gentle! You should also brush at an angle so that the brush is facing the root of each tooth.
On top of brushing, you can also start flossing. This is great for getting the plaque out from in between teeth where a brush can’t access. Flossing should be done gently too as to not harm the gums or teeth.
2. Change your toothpasteYou can also help to make your teeth whiter and healthier by changing your toothpaste. Opting for a whitening toothpaste could help to get rid of staining. You can even experiment with toothpastes containing ingredients such as activated charcoal and baking powder to see if they have an effect (many people find these to have effective whitening properties). You can even try creating your own DIY whitening toothpastes, ingredients of which can be found on the web.
3. Chew more gumChewing gum is great for getting plaque off teeth between meals. It also gets the salivary glands working helping to naturally clean out teeth. Gum should be sugar-free in order for it to have an impact. You can buy special dental gums with fluoride in and with extra whitening properties.
4. Get professional treatmentFor a more drastic method of improving your teeth, you could consider investing in professional treatment. The likes of veneering and laser teeth whitening can help to make your teeth look brighter, whilst orthodontic treatment can help to straighten wonky teeth. You could even opt for an entire reconstruction if you feel your teeth are particularly bad. New technological advances have made it possible to engineer the smile you want. Digital Smile Design concept improves the visualisation of patient’s problem & gives insights about possible solutions. The likes of Invisalign braces meanwhile can help correct teeth whilst not being as salient as normal braces.
Professional treatment can be expensive, so you should weigh up the costs beforehand. There are also conditions worth researching into – for example, those having veneers fitted can be limited from eating certain foods that may cause these veneers to come off, whilst laser treatment can cause teeth to become extra sensitive.
5. Cut out bad habitsCertain bad habits can cause damage to your teeth. Without cutting down on these, you're unlike to see long term, positive results to the appearance of your teeth.
The most obvious bad habit that can lead to tooth discolouration and decay is consuming too much sugar. When we eat sugar, it reacts with bacteria in our saliva to cause decay. Soft drinks are particularly bad for your teeth as they coat every tooth’s surface with sugar. Opting for sugar-free soft drinks or sticking to water and milk is far healthier for your teeth. Drinking sugary drinks through a straw can also help to prevent the sugar swilling around your mouth.
Wine can also be bad for out teeth. This is partly because it is packed with sugar but also partly because of tannin in the wine, which causes staining of the teeth. Red wine is particularly bad for this. On top of reducing your intake, you could try drinking wine with cheese, which apparently helps to cancel out some of the staining properties. Sounds like a good excuse for a wine and cheese night right?
Finally, if you smoke, you may also want to try and quit this bad habit. Tar in cigarettes can cause discolouration of the teeth as well as damaging the gums and potentially leading to serious oral diseases such as oral cancer. Vaping could help to get rid of the chemicals, although you should be careful with this too, as it can cause your mouth to become dry, which is also not good for your teeth. It's worth noting that there are still a lack of studies that prove vaping to be a safe alternative.