Tooth of Office

In 1789, America’s first president took office. Apparently he oversaw the country better than his dental health. Gradual decay led to extraction of all George Washington’s choppers before he held the title of Commander in Chief.

Avoid this Founding Father’s fate with these food choices and oral hygiene practices:

Discoloration by drink. Tea, coffee, and red wine top the list of stain makers, which erode enamel and increase chance for decay. To minimize their effects, limit intake, swish with water or better yet brush after consuming, and use a straw over sipping.

Tobacco trouble. As if you needed another reason to ditch the cancer stick, smoking causes up to 75% of adult periodontal disease. Not only does tobacco stain teeth, it weakens bones and gums, while increasing risk for oral cancer. Kick the habit and you cut that risk in half within 5 years — and thwart the progress of nicotine discoloration immediately.

Food factors. Dark-colored edibles like berries and chocolate leave their prints on your pearly whites. And sugar digs in instantly to activate bacterial attacks and acidic decay. Brush right after treating your sweet tooth, since deterioration can begin as soon as 30 minutes. For natural whitening, eat fiber-rich foods like apples, celery, and carrots.

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