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Are you planning to take a lot of photographs over your upcoming summer vacation? Then there’s no better time to get the beautiful white smile you’ve always wanted! Luckily, getting whiter teeth is easier than you’d think. Simply follow these eight steps!

1. Boost your oral healthcare routine.

A healthy smile is a beautiful smile. So if you’d like your teeth to be sparkling white this summer, it is important that you start with a good oral healthcare routine. While it is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day, you should also try to brush your teeth after every meal to prevent tooth decay. And don’t forget to floss! This is an important step in preventing gingivitis and keeping your teeth in great health.

2. Quit smoking.

Not only is smoking bad for your oral health, it can also leave stains on your teeth that are quite difficult to remove! This is because the tar found in cigarettes can leave a dark residue on the surface of your teeth, while nicotine leaves a yellowish tint on your dental enamel when it comes in contact with oxygen. By avoiding tobacco products entirely, you can be one step closer to having the pearly white smile you’ve always wanted.

3. Eat foods that brighten your smile.

Did you know that there are foods that can actually make your teeth whiter? Strawberries, for example, contain malic acid that actively removes stains from the surface of your teeth. Fibrous fruits and vegetables—such as celery, carrots, and apples— are also great for whitening your smile as they scrub the surface of your teeth as you chew. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are also great for your pearly whites. The lactic acids and calcium found in these foods strengthen your teeth and whiten your enamel simultaneously. By inserting these healthy foods into your diet, you can whiten your teeth naturally and easily!

4. Avoid foods that leave stains on your teeth.

We all know that coffee is a white smile’s worst enemy, but there are quite a few other foods that can also stain your teeth! For starters, citrus fruits are quite corrosive to your dental enamel, and therefore should only be eaten in moderation if you’re trying to get a whiter smile. You’ll also want to avoid any foods that are high in sugar—particularly hard candies, sodas, and sports drinks—as these can lead to tooth decay. Lastly, you may want to avoid foods that contain tomato sauce, curry, and soy sauce, as these can corrode your teeth and leave tough stains.

5. Drink water.

Drinking water is an easy, effective method of protecting your teeth from the discoloring effects of tooth decay. Firstly, water contains fluoride, which strengthens your dental enamel and fortifies it against the corrosive acids that lead to decay. It also washes away the sugars and food residue that linger on your teeth and feed the bacteria in plaque. Finally, water helps to boost your saliva production—allowing your body to naturally rinse away food residue and debris. Therefore, if you want to keep your teeth looking healthy and white, try replacing your sodas and sports drinks with water.

6. Schedule a dentist appointment every six months.

According to the American Dental Association, it is highly recommended that you visit the dentist at least twice a year. Not only will this allow you to stay in good oral health—it can keep your teeth white too! During your regular check-up, you will receive a thorough professional cleaning to renew your smile and prevent issues like gingivitis and tooth decay, which can discolor your teeth over time.

7. Get an in-office whitening treatment.

At Downtown Dental, we offer a professional whitening treatment that can give you noticeably whiter teeth in just one sitting! This procedure is quick and pain-free. We simply apply a whitening solution to the surface of your teeth and activate the gel with a laser or heat lamp. In just an hour, your smile will be multiple shades whiter and stay that way for months!

8. Consider at-home whitening methods.

If you’d prefer to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, there is a solution for you! Downtown Dental offers custom-made whitening trays that form perfectly to your teeth, so you can get professional results without having to come into the office. We also have our very own brand of whitening strips to give you a beautiful smile without the cost. Ready to get a whiter, more beautiful smile? Contact Downtown Dental, your trusted cosmetic dentist in Chicago, today to schedule your appointment!