Nine natural ways to keep your teeth white

Smile! There are ways you can help your teeth to remain dazzling and healthy without paying to have them whitened:

  1. Cut down on dark drinks. Avoid too much red wine, black tea, coffee, colas and dark fruit juices if you want your pearly whites to stay, well, white. A rule of thumb? If they’ll stain a white tablecloth, they’ll stain your teeth. Gravy is another culprit, as are dark fruits such as blueberries and blackberries. Rinse your teeth immediately after having dark-coloured food or drinks.
  2. Be wary of white wine. Don’t think it’s just red wine that turns your teeth yellow. One study found that white wine had the effect of making them more likely to absorb stains from substances like coffee.
  3. Forget the fags. Cigarettes are notorious for causing tooth discoloration. But smoking can lead to much worse problems in your mouth, including gum disease, bone loss in the jaw and oral cancer.
  4. Brush with bicarb once a week. Sodium bicarbonate predates toothpaste as a teeth-cleaning agent. It’ll remove stains and leave your teeth whiter. But don’t overdo it, as bicarb is abrasive and will damage tooth enamel.
  5. Leave the lemon juice alone. Although it’s a well-known tooth whitener, you’re essentially coating your teeth with acid – citric acid in this case – which can cause them to lose calcium.
  6. Brush with strawberries. Rub the pulp on your teeth, or use a toothbrush, but rinse your mouth well afterwards because, like lemons, strawberries are acidic.
  7. Pick a pineapple. An Indian research study has suggested that an enzyme called bromelain, present in this exotic fruit, is effective in removing stains from teeth.
  8. Wear red lipstick. Women who choose brighter shades will have whiter looking teeth than ladies who opt for lighter coloured lipsticks, which have the effect of making your gnashers look yellower.
  9. And finally… look after your teeth. Eating a healthy diet, shunning sugary foods, and brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly are the best ways to keep your sparkly smile.