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7 secrets to healthy, whiter teeth

By Dr Saurabh Gupta
August 04, 2016 12:28 IST
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Did you know ketchup can stain your teeth!
Dental advice from Dr Saurabh Gupta.

Many people complain that their teeth enamel is yellow.

Did you know that most of the food you eat can stain your teeth?

Simple tips for whiter and healthier teeth:

1. Keep a watch on the colour of your food

red wine

Photograph: Kind courtesy George Mathew/Creative Commons

Cut down on coffee, cola, black tea or red wine.

All these drinks stain your teeth and also weaken them over time.

If you still want to consume these drinks, use a straw while drinking. This ensures there is less contact with your teeth.

2. Avoid eating too much ketchup

ketchup

Photograph: Kind courtesy Annalisa Antonini/Creative Commons

Avoid, or at least try to eat rarely, certain foods as they can change the colour of your teeth.

These foods include soy sauce, ketchup and almost all acidic foods and drinks like lemons, candies, sodas, etc.

Eat more nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables rich in fibre and drink a lot of water.

Many freshly squeezed citrus fruits contain concentrated fruit acids which can be harmful for your enamel, especially if you have sensitive teeth.

Try to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after you eat these fruits.

3. Opt for darker varieties of chocolate

chocolate

Photograph: Kind courtesy Jonathan Reyes/Creative Commons

Sweetened soda drinks contain huge amounts of sugar, which are not beneficial for your teeth.

Candies and caramel sweets can also create an ideal condition for the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Try to avoid these sweets.

Dark chocolate, on the contrary, is less dangerous for your teeth because it contains huge amounts of cacao beans, which helps to fight bacteria.

The higher the concentration of cacao beans in the chocolate, the better it is for your teeth.

4. Hard cheese is a good friend of white teeth

cheese

Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

It's rich in calcium and is good not only for your teeth, but also for the whole body.

5. Spicy foods can be great for your teeth

spicy food vada pav

Photograph: Kind courtesy Rutvi Mistry/Wikimedia Commons

Spices encourage the production of saliva which helps wash out the leftover food in your mouth.

Saliva also contains special substances that naturally fight bacteria in the mouth.

6. Gargle after every meal

railway food

Photograph: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

One of the main reasons of all tooth problems is bacteria.

In order to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth white, brush them regularly.

The enamel of your teeth softens by the acidic environment in your mouth after eating, so it's better to wait for at least 30 minutes (after your meals) before brushing your teeth.

If you don't plan to brush your teeth after every meal or thrice a day, try to do it at least twice a day.

Another easy tip to keep your teeth white is to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after each meal.

Avoid brushing your teeth too hard, to not scrub off the enamel.

It's very important to brush your teeth the right way.

Try to spend two minutes bushing your teeth.

Brush your teeth gently, using short circular motions to protect your enamel. Don't forget to reach between your teeth and also brush your tongue for 30 seconds.

Finish by rinsing with water or mouthwash. Floss your teeth at least once a day. Remember to smile.

7. Baking soda for white teeth

baking soda

Photograph: Kind courtesy evitaochel/Pixabay.com

Baking soda is a good remedy for getting white teeth.

But it's not to be used daily to brush your teeth.

It's not recommended if your teeth are sensitive.

Baking soda treatment can be used once a week during a month, as a whitening treatment.

With frequent use, baking soda can damage your teeth, so be careful not to use it too often.

How to use it?

Squeeze toothpaste on your toothbrush, top it up with a small amount of baking soda and start brushing.

You can also brush your teeth using only baking soda.

We recommend you get your dentist's advice before trying any self remedies.

It is important to know without a balanced and healthy diet it is impossible to have white teeth.

Dr Saurabh Gupta is a dentist.

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Dr Saurabh Gupta