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There’s more to keeping your teeth white than a little brushing and the occasional visit to a dentist. Take a look at these tips:

# 1 Avoid fizzy drinks

Carbonated drinks (including diet drinks and sparkling water) can make your teeth look older than they actually are. These drinks are so highly acidic that they can actually dissolve the top layers of the tooth. They contain high amounts of phosphorus, a mineral that can leach calcium from your bones if you consume too much, and some scientists believe it can weaken the jaw, increasing the chance of losing teeth.

Some researchers believe that calcium is not lost from the hips or spine first, but from the jaw, leading to tooth loss. We see several young people who have the jaws of much older people, due to poor dietary habits such as drinking soda, along with not getting enough calcium.

# 2 Chew food

Foods that work on teeth as detergents are foods that require chewing. Apples, celery, and carrots naturally clean teeth, and foods like spinach, lettuce, and broccoli prevent staining, creating a film on teeth that acts as a barrier. Top strainers will have their toll on your smile sooner rather than later, so steer clear of tea, coffee, red wine, and highly pigmented foods like cherries and blueberries, which would, in fact, stain a white shirt.

# 3 Don’t take drugs

Ecstasy causes clenching of the jaw. One study found that 60% of the ecstasy users examined had worn their teeth through the enamel and into the underlying dentin, compared to just 11% of non-users. As for cocaine rubbed on the gums, it restricts blood flow, traumatizes tissue, and inhibits gum nutrition. Remember that the gums hold the teeth in place.

# 4 Quit smoking

Smoking causes staining of the teeth and bad breath, and increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease by restricting blood flow to the gums. In fact, some gum specialists feel that it is not worth providing advanced treatment for gum disease in smokers, as there is very little chance for improvement. Smoking one pack a day for 10 years can cause a 10 percent loss of bone support. Long-term studies reveal that the majority of tooth loss in children ages 19 to 40 is associated with smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day.

# 5 Beware of whitening

A professionally applied whitening system will not harm your teeth. But some over-the-counter bleaches are so acidic, they can cause surface loss and sensitivity.

# 6 Stop biting your nails

Regular nail chewers do more damage than your cuticles. They can also damage your teeth. If you have weakened teeth from this habit, you end up with a soft, dented, exposed area in the center of the tooth, and that’s when the problem occurs. The dented part in the middle is much softer than nail polish and if exposed to bad habits like chewing nails or opening beer bottles it will wear away. Often the middle part dissolves faster than the outer part and the brittle enamel is very prone to chipping, making the teeth look uneven and unattractive. Come to Unicare Dental Center and take care of that smile that makes you be your best version!