4 Effortless Steps to Whiter Teeth

By on January 15, 2013

Completely You: Oral Care

By Dr. Stephen Persichetti, dental surgeon and a fellow in the International College of Dentists for Completely You

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Some of my patients obsess over getting whiter teeth, and spend hours taking care of them. But the truth is that getting whiter teeth and healthy gums requires just a few minutes a day. Here’s how to do it:

Step No. 1 for Whiter Teeth: Brush After Your Coffee

Cleaning your teeth before you drink and eat doesn’t make much sense. And by the way, sipping coffee all day long without brushing afterward is a surefire way to stain your teeth. To keep my teeth white, I drink a cup in the morning, brush, and then I’m done. Grab your morning joe on the way to work? Then at least rinse your mouth with water when you’re finished. You should also be sure to rinse after consuming any of the following: tea, blueberries, curry, soy sauce, wine and (surprise!) dark-green veggies, like broccoli and kale.
Time spent:
Two minutes for brushing, 15 seconds for rinsing

Step No. 2 for Whiter Teeth: Stick out Your Tongue

While you’re brushing your teeth, spend an extra few seconds on your tongue — that’s where a lot of the germs that cause bad breath hang out. Brush as far back as you can go without gagging. Once you start cleaning your tongue routinely, your breath will be much fresher.
Time spent:
20 seconds

Step No. 3 for Whiter Teeth: Floss With Your Feet Up

You can’t have a healthy smile (and good breath) without flossing once a day. There’s no other way to get rid of all the debris that accumulates in between teeth. But who says you have to do it in the bathroom? I floss in front of the TV. Technique is important too: Don’t just floss in between your teeth, draw it up against the side of each tooth and scrub as much of the surface as possible.
Time spent:
Two-and-a-half minutes

Step No. 4 for Whiter Teeth: Take a Look Around in There

Of course, your dentist will check for gum disease, but chances are you visit his office twice a year at most. If you notice that your gums are bleeding or getting puffy between appointments, give him a call. Gum disease is easiest to treat when you catch it early, plus you can avoid the bad breath, loose teeth and expensive dental work it causes.
Time spent:
10 seconds

Got any tricks for whiter teeth? Share below or tweet us @Completely_You

Dr. Stephen Persichetti is a dental surgeon and family dentist in Portland, Ore., and a fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry. He is a past president of the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry and is affiliated with Donated Dental Services, treating many patients who could not otherwise afford dental care. This is his first article appearing in Completely You.

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4 Effortless Steps to Whiter Teeth