Whether we have a special occasion coming up or just want to look our best in photos, there’s few things as confidence boosting as a beautiful white smile.
According to Dr. Emanuel Layliev, DDS, FAGD, FIADFE, who acts as Director of New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in New York City, our diet can absolutely impact our smile! Remember that just as our food and drink can stain our clothing or furniture — we’ve all gotten red wine on that white couch! — it can do the same to your teeth.
If you are seeking whiter, brighter teeth, here’s Dr. Layliev’s tips:
- Munching on crunchy snacks like apples or celery is as effective as brushing. “Raw fruits and veggies are loaded with fiber, a natural abrasive that can help clean teeth,” says Dr. Layliev.
- We love to live on caffeine and wine as well, but tread carefully! “Coffee, red wines and dark sodas are main causes of yellowing, so sip your latte or cola through a straw,” says Dr. Layliev.
- Dark, sticky, hot foods are the worst staining culprits. “Tooth enamel is porous, and those foods work their way down into teeth, where you can’t simply scrub them away. Barbecue sauce (as well as cranberry sauce and maple syrup) is dark, hot, and sticky, so it’s a triple whammy for teeth,” says Layliev.
- Black coffee and espressos are especially bad for staining because they don’t contain milk to neutralize and balance off the acidity; so not only do they darken teeth, but they also cause erosion, which is damaging to tooth health.
- Brush immediately after eating or drinking dark foods. If that’s not an option, swish water around your mouth for 30 seconds, which can help remove food particles from in between teeth.
- Dr. Layliev reminds: “Rule of thumb: If it stains a white shirt, it will stain your teeth!” — Great rule to live by!
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