We all want movie star smiles, but having sweet breath to match is pretty nice, too, right? It can sometimes be hard to have the best of both (teeth) worlds, but there are a number of tips and tricks mouth-savvy individuals can use to keep their mouths looking and smelling brilliant.
Skip the chemicals
Whitening toothpastes are a great quick fix for yellowed teeth, but many whitening chemicals can cause lasting damage as well. Ingredients like aluminum oxide and silica do a great job of chipping away at stains, but also have a habit of chipping away at the ever-important enamel of our teeth, leaving teeth feeling weak and prone to chipping. What's worse: a yellow tooth, or a chipped one? It's a hard question to answer.
More straws, please
One of the best stances to take against bad breath and teeth stains is prevention. When drinking sodas, coffees, teas or other teeth-staining beverages, it is best to sip these through a straw to limit the liquid's contact with your teeth. After you've finished your beverage, be sure to drink a good amount of water so that you are rinsing your mouth of the acidic deposits left by the beverage. Coffee notoriously leaves deposits at the back of the tongue, so rinsing will minimize the amount of sugars and "food" left over for bacteria to gorge on. Drinking water will also help alleviate the amount of material left on your teeth that might create stains.
Natural teeth-cleaning snacks
Although a slice of coffee cake or a muffin is always a tempting breakfast or snack, eating more veggies and fruits and less foods that are heavy in sugars and starches will also help keep your teeth looking and smelling great. Celery sticks are a great natural cleaner, and the vegetable's high water content helps to keep you hydrated and your bad breath away. Other crisp snacks to try include apples, cucumbers and carrots.
Your grandma's toothpaste
As for brushing, there are a number of natural ways to help keep your teeth clean and your bad breath at bay. In addition to using an all-natural mouthwash and toothpaste, it is good to occasionally brush your teeth with baking soda. Baking soda has long been used as a whitening agent, and opting for a bit of the white powder instead of your usual tube of toothpaste could help you keep your mouth looking even brighter than usual. Also, always remember to use circular motions for brushing. According to Yahoo, horizontal brushing is much less effective at actively cleaning your teeth.