You have spent a lot of time and money working to get that bright white smile and you want to keep it. Unfortunately, things you do every day can contribute to the dulling and yellowish appearance of teeth you just treated. Luckily, these five tips can help you keep your teeth looking bright and white for much longer, meaning you can go longer between whitening treatments while still sporting that beautiful smile. Here are five teeth whitening tips for you to follow to help maintain your white teeth.
#1 Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Keeping your teeth stain-free between whitening treatments begins with good oral hygiene. This begins with brushing your teeth at least twice a day. The mild abrasives in toothpaste and the brushing action help to remove any food stains, as well as the bacteria on your teeth that contributes to the build-up of plaque. A build-up of plaque can cause teeth to look dull your yellow in appearance. Floss at least once a day to remove stuck food particles between the teeth. Consider using mouthwash to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth and keep the plaque to a minimum.
#2 Consider Baking Soda Toothpastes to Keep Teeth White
When it comes to brushing your teeth, the toothpaste you use really does make a difference. While there are many different kinds of whitening toothpaste on the market, they really don’t work the same as a whitening treatment. Most kinds of toothpaste do not have a bleaching component, but instead have abrasives that help to remove stains, similar to an exfoliant removing dead skin. Unfortunately, some of these abrasives can be rough on your teeth and cause damage to your enamel. When your enamel gets thin or damaged, this can expose the dentin and actually contribute to the yellowing of the teeth.
Studies, however, have shown that baking soda is a mild abrasive that works to remove stains while not damaging your tooth enamel. In a 2017 supplement to The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), researchers showed the benefits of baking soda. When it comes to stains, they reported that baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, has a relatively low intrinsic hardness (actually softer than tooth enamel), making it safe and effective for daily use. But they report that, despite it being softer than other common abrasives, baking soda actually helps remove stains better.
In addition to being abrasive yet gentle enough to safely remove stains, baking soda provides additional oral health benefits. Baking soda helps to reduce the pH of plaque acids, reducing the risk of cavities. In addition, baking soda has natural anti-bacterial properties that help reduce oral bacteria and the production of plaque.
#3 Attend Regular Dental Visits and Cleanings to Keep Teeth White
Attending regular dental check-ups and cleanings not only help to keep your teeth bright and white between whitening treatments, but they help promote good oral health. Often a good cleaning is all you need to remove surface stains and rejuvenate your smile. During a cleaning, the hygienist scrapes and picks away tartar and plaque that can contribute to tooth discoloration while also polishing and removing other surface stains. During a dental exam, the dentist can detect early signs of enamel issues or tooth decay that can also contribute to tooth discoloration before it becomes noticeable.
#4 Watch What You Eat and Drink
Because food plays a major role in staining your teeth, what you eat can have the greatest impact on tooth discoloration. Foods such as berries, pasta sauce, and curries are rich in color from chromagens, or deeply pigmented molecules. This is also true with drinks such as coffee, tea, dark sodas, and wine. These chromagens actively attach to the enamel of your teeth, resulting in stains.
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Now, this doesn’t mean you need to give up your morning coffee or spaghetti night with the family, but it does mean you might want to change how you consume these foods and beverages and what you do afterward. Some tips include:
- Use a straw when drinking coffee, tea, soda, or wine. In order for the chromagens in your drinks to stain your teeth, they must come into contact with your teeth. Drinking through a straw helps limit how much they come in contact with your teeth. This reduces the risk of staining.
- Brush your teeth after eating these foods. If you are having a big spaghetti dinner or a big slice of blueberry pie, consider brushing your teeth not long after you finish. This will help quickly remove the chromagens and reduce the risk of dental staining.
#5 Saying Goodbye to Cigarettes Helps Keep Teeth White
You already know smoking is bad for your health. But did you know that it also plays a role in dulling your smile? When you look at your teeth, they appear as solid structures. In reality, your teeth a filled with tiny pores, much like your skin. When you smoke, tar and nicotine enter these tiny pores, resulting in tooth discoloration. Unfortunately, teeth whitening toothpaste and even over-the-counter whiteners cannot treat these stains. The only way to treat them is through whitening treatments. Quitting smoking is the only way to avoid this discoloration. And, changing over to the popular vaping won’t do the trick either, as these products still contain nicotine.
Using these teeth whitening tips is crucial to keeping your smile bright. Taking good care of your teeth and watching what you eat can help keep your teeth bright and white between whitening treatments. When it comes time for your next whitening treatment, SportingSmiles offers professional-strength whitening kits including a custom-fit whitening tray for a fraction of the cost you would pay at the dentist. For more information on what we offer, visit Custom Teeth Whitening.