(Family Features) Are you proud of your smile? Or do stains on your teeth keep you from smiling as much as you’d like?
According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) survey, 99.7 percent of adults feel that a smile is an important social asset. Yet, when asked what they’d like to improve most about their smiles, the most common response was to have whiter and brighter teeth.
Teeth whitening procedures and products have become a rapidly growing business. A separate survey conducted by the AACD in 2011, found that 91 percent of cosmetic dentists said that they performed whitening procedures on their patients. And 32 percent said they expected that number to increase in 2012.
Although getting teeth whitened by a professional may be popular, it can also be expensive. The good news is there are many affordable and convenient alternatives that will help you achieve a bright, white smile.
- Start with a checkup. A professional cleaning and mouth exam is your first step to whiter teeth. Make sure you get any cavities treated and talk to your dentist about which whitening methods you should use. Bleaching isn’t for everyone and your dentist will help determine if you’re a good candidate.
- Watch what you eat. Darker foods and beverages can stain your teeth. Limit your exposure to coffee, tea, red wine, colas, and dark foods like beets and berries. When drinking beverages that stain, use a straw to help minimize discoloration. Lastly, brush or rinse as soon as you can after eating or drinking stain-causing foods.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush at least two times a day, and floss at least once a day.
- Use a whitening toothpaste. These products contain polishing or chemical agents that help remove surface stains. Toothpastes such as the new line of ARM & HAMMERÒ toothpaste with Stain DefenseÔ are specially formulated to gently remove plaque and surface stains with baking soda, while targeting tough stains with peroxide. The new Stain DefenseÔ technology also helps prevent new stains from setting. Learn more at www.armandhammer.com.
Achieving a healthy, white smile is easy to do if you follow these tips. Overall, it is important to watch what you eat and drink, and make sure to keep your teeth and mouth clean. By practicing good oral hygiene you can achieve a smile of which you can be proud.
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