Want brighter, whiter teeth?

  Have your pearly whites lost their luster due to teeth stains? Stained teeth can occur naturally as we age, but some common foods, drinks, and even mouthwashes can cause teeth stains. Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth and avoiding substances that stain teeth can stop further discoloration. Use these secrets to whiter teeth to restore your bright smile.

Home remedies for whiter teeth

  Some people still prefer the age-old home remedy of baking soda and a toothbrush to gently whiten teeth at home. Also, some foods such as celery, apples, pears and carrots trigger lots of saliva - which helps to scrub away stains on your teeth. Chewing sugar free gum also triggers saliva, which helps eliminate teeth stains. A bonus from all that saliva is that it neutralizes acid that causes tooth decay. With teeth, more saliva is better all around.

To keep teeth white, don't light up

  Not only is it bad for your health, smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to teeth stains. Nicotine causes brown stains that penetrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel and can be hard to remove by brushing alone. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. Smoking also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease), and increases risk of oral cancers.

Foods that cause teeth stains

  There's another reason to watch what you eat - some common foods can cause tooth discoloration. Here's an easy way to tell if a food might be at fault: anything that can stain a white cotton t-shirt can stain teeth, say dentists. Coffee stains teeth, for example. Other top offenders are beverages such as tea, dark fizzy drinks and fruit juices. These teeth stains develop slowly and become more noticeable as we age.

More foods that stain teeth

  The deep color of these fruits and veg give them their nutritional punch. But blueberries, blackberries and beetroot leave their color on teeth as well. Eat up for your health and prevent tooth stains by:
• Brushing teeth after eating.
• Rinsing your mouth with water.

Preventing teeth stains

  As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away. The underlying layer, called dentin, is more yellow. That's why it's important to avoid teeth stains in the first place - especially after whitening. If you take care with foods and drinks that cause tooth discoloration, the results of teeth whitening may last up to one year. Whitening teeth too often could make them look translucent and blue - so you'll want to maintain your new smile.

Think as you drink

  They may be packed with disease-fighting antioxidants but a glass of red wine, cranberry juice and grape juice also stain teeth easily. That doesn't mean you should give them up, but remember to brush or rinse your mouth after you drink. These aren't the only teeth-staining foods to be aware of...

Sports drinks tough on teeth?

  While all sweetened drinks are bad for teeth, some energy and sports drinks may be worse, according to one study in the US publication General Dentistry. Researchers found that these drinks - as well as bottled lemonade - may erode tooth enamel after long-term use. The result is thin, translucent, discolored teeth. To prevent tooth erosion:
• Don't sit and sip these drinks for a long time.
• Rinse your mouth with water when you’ve finished drinking.