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4 Steps to Naturally Whiter Teeth

If you are a cola, coffee, tea or red-wine drinker, you may experience discolored teeth. Actually, any food or drink capable of staining clothes or carpets - including fruit juices, blueberries, soy sauce and curry - can also stain teeth -  While the best way to get rid of persistent stains is with professional teeth cleaning, you can help prevent stains - new or recurring - with the following:

  1. Rinse your mouth with plain water after you drink or eat staining foods and beverages.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste; many natural-ingredient-based toothpaste lines such as Tom's of Maine now have whitening varieties.
  3. Floss daily (stains around the edges of your teeth can occur when plaque accumulates at the gum line and absorbs color from food and drink).
  4. Sip temperate fluids through a straw, which minimizes contact with teeth.

Be cautious about over the counter teeth whitening kits, and talk with your dentist about professional options. You should be aware that any method of tooth bleaching may, over time, break down the integrity of the teeth. That can leave them more susceptible to future stains. Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening but usually decreases over time.

Both red wine and green tea hold an important place in my Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, so don't let the fear of stained teeth deter you from including them in your diet.

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Reader Comments (5)

Dear Dr. Weil-
You mention Tom's of Maine toothpastes. Although I use this brand & love it, I'm concerned about your warnings regarding carrageenan. All Tom's of Maine toothpastes contain carrageenan. Any advice? Thank you for all you do.

July 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy L.

Thanks Dr. Weil for the easy to follow tips. My dentist recently informed me that even professional whitening solutions are not permanent. Routine maintenance is still needed from time to time.

July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeffrey J.

You might check out this link to the Tom's of Maine ingredients page to see
what they say about the carageenan they use.
And I will check some more.

July 15, 2010 | Unregistered

Thank you for the link, moderator44, but it didn't offer any insight. I would love to know what the good doctor thinks about it. Is a little bit of carrageenan okay, or should we avoid it entirely?

July 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy L.

This is great Dr. Weil! I remember my best friend always do things to make his teeth whiter without any consultation from a physician and got it all wrong. See, her teeth are very sensitive and easily stained. She doesn't have that enough courage to ask dentists. Maryville TN is the place where she had the guts to ask one dentist about her teeth condition. And finally had that courage to talk and smile.

August 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBobby Schaeffer
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