Dr Peta Leigh, teeth whitening expert at award-winning, highly specialist dental and orthodontics practice, www.ellevendental.com offers 11 top tips for achieving the best and brightest white smile for  National Smile Month. 

EAT YOUR WAY TO WHITER TEETH

Foods that are firm or crisp are known to help clean teeth as they’re eaten. Apples are considered to be ‘nature’s toothbrush’ and are a great way of cleaning teeth on the go or at lunch time when you are at work and unable to brush your teeth. Other choices include raw carrots, celery, and popcorn. All of these foods are known as ‘detergent’ foods, as the rough edges act as a cleaner to remove bacteria from the teeth. Try to make these the final foods you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth right after eating.

WASH AWAY THE STAINS

Water is not only essential for overall wellbeing, it is also vital for great oral health. Water acts as a natural cleaner and has the power to wash away bacteria and residue left on the teeth after eating so be sure to drink a glass of water after every meal.

GET A CALCIUM BOOST

This may come as a surprise to many but cheese is also known for helping to maintain healthy white teeth. Although very fattening, cheese speeds the neutralization of acid and remineralisation of enamel. Less damage to our enamel equals fewer discolourations. In addition, cheese is also high in calcium which is known for strengthening bones and teeth. For a healthier alternative, milk and yoghurt act in the same way as the cheese, containing calcium and phosphorus which promotes the remineralisation of tooth enamel.

NEUTRALISE ACID

Chewing gum is also very beneficial when it comes to maintaining a white smile. Chewing gum helps to clean teeth mechanically by removing debris, and it stimulates production of saliva, which increases your saliva’s ability to neutralize acid and remineralise your enamel, ultimately strengthening teeth. Make sure you choose a sugar-free gum and if it has whitening properties, even better!

QUIT SMOKING

Lifestyle choices can also influence a natural white smile with smoking being one of the biggest causes of teeth decay and discolouration. The nicotine and tar in the cigarette result in teeth darkening, losing their natural white. Smoking can cause teeth to turn yellow over a very short period of time and years of smoking can even turn teeth brown. To stop this from happening, the answer is simple- stop smoking. Plus it will improve your overall health dramatically.

BRUSH YOUR WAY TO A WHITER SMILE

Your toothbrush can also influence the whiteness in your teeth. Make sure you change your toothbrush or the head of your electric toothbrush at least every two to three months, otherwise you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. People also underestimate how flossing can transform a smile.

THE LITTLE EXTRAS

Flossing removes some of the staining in between teeth, making your smile instantly look whiter. Try to floss several times a week as this will not only improve the health of your gums, you will also notice your smile looking brighter.

SEE THE LIGHT

Dark coloured foods are also notorious for causing discolouration in the naturally white teeth enamel. The best thing to do is try to avoid these foods and drinks such as coffee, balsamic vinegar and red wine, but if you do want to treat yourself, drink a glass of water after as this will help minimise staining.

HYGINE HELPS

Regular hygienist appointments at least twice a year will help to preserve a bright white whilst maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The latest technology is dental hygiene uses a special polishing technique which uses high pressure air and water and a specially-formulated powder which can help restore teeth to their natural colour by removing external stains such as those caused by coffee, tea, red wine and daily living.

GET A TEETH WHITENING TREATMENT

Ultimately, the only way to achieve long lasting results is to visit a professional dental clinic  that can offer a variety of whitening options, starting with cleaning, stain removal and comprehensive chair-side (In-surgery) and home combination bleaching treatments. Many specialist dental practices like The Vallance Dental Centre offer bespoke whitening treatments, tailor-made to each patient’s life-style, budget and individual needs, ensuring the best results for beautiful natural white teeth.

ALL ABOARD THE SMILE TRAIN

Ok, so this won’t keep your teeth white, but will make the world a little brighter for someone else. Smile Train is a sustainable charity that helps to fund operations for children who suffer from a cleft lip and/or palette. Why not donate £2 this world smile day to help not only you, but a child smile too! Find out more at www.smiletrain.org.uk.