Things You Should Never Do If You Want Whiter Teeth

Girl smiling with pearly white teeth

A bright white smile with the teeth you see all over instagram and TV is on everybody's beauty goal list. Yet there are a million things that can stop you from getting those pearly whites. The food you eat and the drinks you drink – even ingredients in your toothpaste can stop that killer smile. To help you on your road to stunning white teeth we've got a guide for what you should try to avoid:

1. Don’t brush too hard: 20% of the population over brush. "Try brushing in a gentle massaging manner instead of ‘scrubbing’ the teeth,” advises dentist, Kevin Sands. “Some whitening toothpastes also contain abrasive additives such as baking soda and hydrated silica, which may contribute to damaging the surface of the teeth, contributing to more stain accumulation over time. The best safest way to whiten your teeth is to visit your dentist for a professional gentle whitening."

2. Avoid soda, coffee, tea, and red wine: These are the worst for staining. If you can’t live without these drinks, try and drink them over a short period of time, instead of sipping them throughout the day. If possible, drink them through a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth. Try to drink water straight after to rinse your mouth, and brush as soon as possible to keep stains at bay.

3. Skip the sugary and sticky foods: Exposing your teeth to alot of sugar, like hard candies and caramels, for a long period of time can lead to cavities. In turn, this leads to the build up of bacterial which can cause stains.

4. Don’t try to DIY whiten: You may be inclined to try and whiten your teeth for summer the "natural" way with lemons or strawberries, but the acids in these particular fruits wear away tooth enamel and can do permanent damage to your teeth.

5. Be careful of toothpastes containing charcoal: Although they claim to remove stains, many can be abrasive and can cause harm when used incorrectly.

6. Don’t choose a toothbrush with hard bristles: These can damage your gums resulting in recession and enamel breakdown. Instead, choose a toothbrush that has soft or medium bristles and enforce good habits like brushing for two minutes, twice a day and changing your brush head every three months.

This helpful advice comes from celebrity dentist Kevin Sands and Mitali Hariawala, DMD, MS.