bright white smile woman

New Year, New Smile: 4 Tips for A Bright Smile

 4 Tips for Refreshing a Lackluster Smile

            Are your teeth looking more yellow than white lately? When you flash a grin at yourself in the mirror, are you less than thrilled with the results? Coffee, tea, wine, poor dental hygiene, the natural process of aging, and much more can steal the sparkle from our otherwise glowing grins. If your teeth are looking dull, you’re not alone. 67% of Americans say they are self-conscious about their teeth, and the top reason, true for 57% of survey respondents, was yellow or discolored teeth.

            What if we pushed for better in 2024? It’s a new year. Let’s stop being self-conscious about our smiles. To make that happen, we want to see you in our office every six months! While you wait for your next appointment, consider taking these natural steps. You just might find that your smile looks a little better and brighter than it has in a while.

1 – Brush with Baking Soda

Let’s be clear: baking soda isn’t supposed to replace regular toothpaste, as it does not contain fluoride. But when used as a supplement, a paste made out of baking soda and water that you brush with regularly can help restore your teeth to their natural, healthy glow. Simply mix equal parts baking soda and water and brush your teeth thoroughly with the paste. Over time, you should see whitening results.


Because baking soda is a mild abrasive, it has the power to scrub away stains that may have collected over time on the teeth. It’s also a budget-friendly option! Whitestrips may go for $30 or $40 a box; baking soda is about 52 cents an ounce. Some research suggests that it also boasts antibacterial powers and may reduce plaque and gingivitis. So not only do you get inexpensive whitening power, you’re making your mouth healthier in the process.


However, there are downsides. First of all, many dislike the gritty texture of baking soda, and so resort to toothpastes that contain them instead. Second, as you might imagine, baking soda produces less drastic whitening results, than, say, an in-office whitening treatment, or even a commercial option such as Whitestrips. Finally, baking soda is not approved as a replacement for normal toothpaste since it lacks fluoride. If someone chose to use it that way anyway, then the user would be less protected against cavities.

If used in the correct way, in addition to toothpaste that contains fluoride, brushing with baking soda is a good way to see an improvement in overall brightness of teeth.

2- Up the Water Intake

Everybody’s New Year’s resolutions probably had something to do with drinking more water. We all know we need to. But do we really follow through? The truth is, your teeth will be much happier if you do. As you probably already know, fluoride is your teeth’s best friend. Hopefully, the water in your community contains fluoride. (You can look it up or ask your dentist if you’re not sure.) By upping the water intake, you’re bathing your teeth in their favorite mineral and strengthening them against decay.

As the University of Illinois Chicago explains, “Fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and build healthy communities. Evidence shows that for most cities, every $1 invested in fluoridation saves $38 in costs to treat dental problems.” That’s pretty powerful! If fluoridated water can do that on a wide scale, think what it can do for you. Not only does water fortify your teeth with minerals, it also partners with saliva to wash away leftover debris, loosen clingy sugars and bacteria, and keep your mouth clean. Without enough of it, you’re at risk for—you guessed it—dry mouth, a condition that invites tooth decay. Instead, give your teeth the water they need in this new year.  

3- Get Those Leafy Greens

Yes, even as adults we need reminders to eat our vegetables. Dental hygiene and routine dental visits may be essential, but so is eating well. Your teeth need a nutritious blend of protein, healthy carbs and fats, fresh produce, and vitamins and minerals to thrive. For instance, Vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant that supports oral and overall health. You probably knew you could get it in oranges, but did you know you could get it in kale as well? That’s right. Kale is full of calcium, vitamin C, and other antioxidants that kill off harmful bacteria in the mouth and help your teeth thrive.

Leafy greens are powerful because they contain compounds that inhibit the growth of the very bacteria that forms plaque in the first place. This cuts down your risk for gum disease and strengthens your overall oral health. They also contain fiber that stimulates saliva production. More saliva means more debris washed away, more cavities prevented, and your oral health better protected. Between the fiber, the antioxidants, high water content, and more, leafy greens pack a powerful punch for a brighter smile.

Whether you’re a broccoli gal or more of a Swiss Chard guy or you just like to stick to plain old Romaine lettuce, there are lots of ways to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet. Consider tossing a handful of kale into your morning smoothie or enriching your favorite stew with some collard greens. You could also chop up some greens and toss a salad; you could even search for leafy green salad recipes if you needed inspiration.

4- Watch How You Eat, Not Just What

Did you know that it doesn’t just matter what you eat, it also matters how? For instance, say your New Year’s resolution to get a brighter smile was to stop drinking coffee. Well, it’s been a week, and you got a searing headache all 3 days you tried it, so you figured it’s just not in the cards for you. What if we told you that maybe you didn’t have to give coffee up entirely? Here are a few principles for how to eat what you eat.

Brush after eating or drinking something that could stain (but not too soon after!).

Drinking coffee won’t have quite the same effect on your teeth in 2024 if you commit to brushing your teeth after you drink it! If you don’t let the compounds sit on your teeth all day, then it can’t wreak nearly the same amount of havoc. However, a word of warning: coffee is highly acidic. If you brush your teeth too soon after eating or drinking something acidic, you’ll only wear away the temporarily vulnerable enamel. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes anytime you eat or drink something acidic, and then brush off the stain.

Rinse afterward.

Maybe you’re at work or school or out and about and you can’t brush your teeth. Or maybe you’ve just eaten something acidic and you need to wait to brush your teeth. Either way, after you’ve eaten, swishing some water around in your mouth for a moment before swallowing or spitting is a good way to loosen any sugar or remnants that may have gotten stuck. You don’t want those things to have an opportunity to just coat your teeth from morning until you brush your teeth again in the evening.

Keep floss on hand.

Basically, if you couldn’t already tell, the principle is not to let things stay lodged, wedged, coated, or otherwise in proximity to your teeth. Eat it, and then get the remainder off your teeth. All the way. So go ahead and enjoy that bowl of popcorn, but just make sure you have some floss somewhere accessible in case a kernel does what kernels always do and gets lodged in a crevice or in your gums.

With these four simple tips, you might find your 2024 smile looking just a bit brighter than the 2023 version. Don’t forget to keep up with the basics—brushing twice a day for two full minutes each time and flossing at least once. If you’re doing that, visiting the dentist regularly, and eating well, you’re set up for success. If you have any other questions about how to brighten dull teeth for the new year, contact our office today.

dental clinic logo

About Our Team

Our team has over 30 years of combined experience in the field of dentistry and a passion for educating our patients on the importance of good dental hygiene. To learn more about them, please visit our team page 

Our staff is dedicated to making sure that your entire experience is the best it can possibly be. Whatever your needs are, our team is trained to listen and offer the best advice and guidance in choosing the services that best meet your needs. 

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.