Having a bright smile can really help your confidence. Not only do stains make your teeth look unhealthy, but they can also affect how you feel, how often you smile, and how people perceive you. For this reason, many people opt to get their teeth professionally whitened. But did you know that there are many things you can do that will help your whiter smile last? Consider some of the following lifestyle changes to make your new shiny smile last longer than ever.
There are quite a few beverages that can affect the color of your teeth. Coffee, wine, and tea all create stains that are hard to remove. If these are some of your favorite beverages, there is a simple habit you can start that will help keep you from staining your teeth. Dr. Dhiraj Sharma recommends using a straw when you are drinking tea or coffee. Also, use a straw in your wine. Also, the sooner you brush or rinse after drinking these beverages, the less staining you will endure.
Foods That Stain
In addition to drinks that cause staining, there are foods with the same effect. Some of these are berries, tomato sauces, and soups. Blueberries, cherries, and pomegranates also cause staining. Additionally, sugary foods can break down the enamel on your teeth and cause staining. If you have had your teeth whitened, you should evaluate if your diet is heavy in these items and make some switches.
There are literally dozens of reasons to quit smoking and none to continue. Just a few months of smoking can cause your teeth to stain. If you have smoked for several years, your teeth may start to look yellow and even brown. If you need more reasons than white teeth to quit smoking, consider the decreased risk of lung cancer, gum disease, oral cancer, gum infections, and plaque buildup. Simply put, stopping your smoking habit is a great way to ensure your whitening treatment from Dr. Sharma lasts.
Good Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best is to practice excellent dental hygiene. Make sure to brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day, and make sure you brush as your dentist recommends. It is also important to floss and use mouthwash. Flossing will help to remove plaque, and the mouthwash will help to kill plaque-causing bacteria. You will be surprised how much taking care of your teeth at least twice a day, preferably three times, can help them remain stain-free.
You may also want to consider using whitening toothpaste. It will help your pearlies to stay white in between professional whitening from your dentist. Make sure to select a high-quality, dentist-recommended toothpaste for the best results. Dr. Sharma can recommend one for you.
Remember that you should only use whitening toothpaste no more than twice a week. The rest of the time, use regular toothpaste, preferably toothpaste with baking soda, as it has been shown to help remove plaque.
Foods That Help Your Teeth
While some foods stain your new white smile, others help it. Strawberries have malic acid in them, which helps to leave your teeth whiter. You can even mash them up and leave them on your teeth for five minutes. Rinse your mouth with water, and then follow your normal hygiene routine.
Carrots, celery, and apples will also help keep your teeth looking great. They increase saliva production, and saliva is a natural tooth cleaner. As a bonus, these are crunchy foods that will help scrub your teeth. Pineapples and oranges are also great saliva increasers. Don’t forget that dairy products have lactic acid, which can help your teeth fight off decay. Sugar-free gum will also help keep your mouth full of saliva and doesn’t add any sugar to your diet.
Regular Dental Visits
If you want your teeth to be their best, you need to see the dentist at least twice a year. For those who have had their teeth professionally whitened, quarterly visits may be recommended. Good dental hygiene may begin with your personal habits. Still, regular dental checkups will go a long way to making sure your teeth stay healthy and white.
There are a few medications that can contribute to discolored teeth. These include antibacterial mouthwashes with cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine in the ingredients. Some blood pressure medications and antipsychotic drugs can also cause staining. This holds true for both fluoride and iron as well.
Avoid Home Touch Ups
If you need to extend the duration of your professional teeth whitening, you may want to consider some of the many whitening products on the market. There are touch up-pens, strips, toothpaste, and gel you can use at home to help your teeth stay bright. In most cases, however, it is much better to simply talk to your dentist and see if it is time for another professional treatment. Remember that professional whitening treatments deliver longer-lasting results, and the fact that they are done by a professional makes them safer.
Better Dental Tools
One method of keeping your teeth white that isn’t often talked about is better tools for you to use at home. Make sure to get the best toothpaste available that comes recommended by your dentist. In addition to quality toothpaste, do not underestimate the power of a good electric toothbrush. There is some evidence that these are superior to regular toothbrushes. In addition, an excellent water pick can help keep your teeth looking white for longer.
While all these new habits may seem like a great deal of work to keep your teeth looking great, do not get overwhelmed. Just start by implementing a few of the habits and then work your way through a couple more. Adding straw to drinks that stain your teeth can be an easy way to mitigate staining. Adding a few of the fruits and vegetables that will help you get whiter teeth can be the first step to having a brighter smile. Set up regular dental checks at our dental offices in Chicago and look into an electric toothbrush, and you will be well on your way to a healthier smile!