Did you know that white wine can be worse for your teeth than red wine? Or that strawberries have teeth-whitening powers? Have you ever wondered what you can do to prevent staining and keep your teeth as pearly white as possible?
With the holidays around the corner—a time where most of us tend to get a little lax with our diet—it’s helpful to be aware of what we can do to best take care of our teeth. Founder of the Supersmile dental line, Dr. Irwin Smigel, and dentist to stars like Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Kristen Bell, Ivana and Ivanka Trump, Calvin Klein, Johnny Depp, Diane Von Furstenberg and Elizabeth Taylor, gave us a few helpful pointers for better oral care to ensure that our pearly whites don’t lose their luster.
1. White wine can actually stain teeth worse than red wine, as white wine is generally more acidic. It is the high acidity in white wine that make teeth more susceptible to stains from tea, coffee and anything else you eat or drink at the same time that has color. These can be typical teeth-stainers, including ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, spaghetti sauce and all berries. The acid erodes the enamel on teeth, causing rough spots and grooves that leave them vulnerable to stains from colored food and drink.
2. Drinking water in between sips of white wine (or while eating colored foods) will help offset the effect of the stains. To remove the temporary stains that appear immediately after drinking wine, it is best to rinse your mouth with fresh water and eat bread. These two steps reduce the acidity in your mouth.
3. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic foods is not recommended. The tooth enamel has now been weakened from the acid and sugar, and brushing can erode the enamel even further and create more of a problem. It’s best to wait about 30 minutes afterward to brush. The best idea is to use a breath freshener or gel like the Supersmile Quikee. This is a pocket-sized, on-the-go, no brush/no rinse whitening gel and breath freshener. This will reduce stains and polish teeth immediately after the meal or glass of wine without the need for brushing.
4. Strawberries are one of the best natural at-home whiteners. The malic acid in strawberries acts as an astringent to remove surface discoloration and help whiten teeth. The ingredient, which gives the fruit its sour taste, is found in strawberries as well as grapes. It is most effective when the fruit is “just ripe” as malic acid declines as fruits ripen.
5. 80% of most bad breath is caused by bacteria left on the tongue. Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush does not remove the bacteria, but rather just moves it around the mouth. Using a tongue cleaner is the most effective way to kill the bad breath that causes plaque and gum disease.
6. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals will stimulate saliva flow, which acts as a natural detergent to remove some of the stains on the teeth. Even simply rinsing with water, if nothing else is available, will remove some of the stains.