Your smile can make or break you. In fact, 94% of people said a smile is the very first thing they notice when meeting someone. And although most of us dream of having a Hollywood-worthy smile, many of us aren’t doing what it takes to get one. Besides drinking coffee and dark juices, there are more unexpected ways you might be staining your teeth without even realizing it.
We at Bright Side decided to dig into the reasons why our teeth may not be looking their best.
1. You use berries when you bake.
Although fresh berries can benefit your health in many ways, they’re also well-known for causing dental stains. Many people know that eating dark berries can affect the brightness of your teeth, but eating them in cakes, jams, and jellies might also cause your teeth to look dingy. Although, when it comes to strawberries, their teeth-whitening effects are impressive: these delicious berries can make your smile brighter without damaging the enamel.
2. You don’t drink iced tea.
Sugary soda and soft drinks can break down the enamel on your teeth, but iced tea can actually help you care for your pearly whites. Most iced teas contain malic acid, an organic compound also found in strawberries, that has strong bleaching properties. It also increases saliva production, which, in turn, helps fight tooth decay and prevent discoloration.
3. You swim a lot.
If you’re a dedicated swimmer and spend over 6 hours a week in a pool, chances are you might notice a brownish build-up on your teeth. When you swim, you may unintentionally let water into your mouth, and all the chemicals in pool water may cause stains on your teeth. While chlorine helps eliminate bacteria in the water, it can turn your teeth yellow or brown and weaken the enamel, leaving your teeth overly sensitive.
4. You use mouthwash.
Mouthwash is supposed to give you fresh breath, but it’s worth checking your labels before buying your next bottle. Some ingredients in mouthwash can react with staining compounds in foods, and instead of brightening your teeth, it may dull their pearly-white shade. If you can’t imagine your oral care routine without mouthwash, opt for types that don’t contain chlorhexidine or eucalyptol ingredients, and rinse your mouth only before going to sleep.
5. You’re using a firm toothbrush.
Using a hard toothbrush won’t make your teeth extra white — in fact, brushing too aggressively can wear away your dental enamel. This, in turn, will leave your teeth more vulnerable to decay and prone to stains. Dentists recommend using a soft or extra-soft toothbrush and to replace it as soon as the bristles become spread out.
6. You cook with certain spices.
Seasoning your food will add flavor and various aromas to your dishes, but you may want to limit certain spices if you want to keep your teeth white. Some highly pigmented spices, such as curry, can stain your teeth and turn them yellowish. If you don’t like the taste of plain meals, spice up your food with herbs that can benefit your dental health, such as thyme, turmeric, or cinnamon.
7. You’re stressed out.
When we’re under a lot of pressure, we may instinctively grind our teeth to release stress. When we do so regularly, we may be damaging our teeth without even knowing it. In addition to giving you headaches and jaw pain, grinding can weaken tooth enamel, causing your teeth to become yellow and brittle.
Are you guilty of any of these habits? Have you noticed what else affects how white your teeth are?