Millions of Americans have their teeth whitened every year. If you’ve invested in your smile, you might have heard that teeth whitening isn’t permanent, and the same bad habits that lead to tooth discoloration in the first place can stain your teeth again
Jessica Pandich, DDS, provides personalized instructions after whitening your teeth, but as a reminder for everyone who has had their teeth whitened, let’s review how to keep your smile healthy and white.
How to maintain your bright white smile
Foods and drinks to avoid
The food and beverages you consume are the primary culprits of tooth discoloration. Some of the products you might want to consider cutting back on or eliminating from your diet include:
- Red wine
- Fruit juices
- Tomato-based sauces
- Soy sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
Some of these foods contain many of the vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. For example, it’s okay to eat berries — you should just brush your teeth after enjoying them.
If you smoke or use other tobacco products, please stop. In addition to damaging your lungs and contributing to diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer, it also stains your teeth, gives you bad breath, and prematurely ages your skin.
Use a straw
After a teeth whitening treatment, you can use a straw for drinking, which prevents liquids from touching your teeth. There are plenty of paper and reusable straw options if you want to avoid using environmentally damaging plastic straws.
Rinse your mouth after every meal
The longer foods and beverages stay on your teeth, the more opportunity they have to discolor them. If you can’t brush your teeth after every meal or snack, at least rinse your mouth out with fresh water. This helps clean away debris or the sticky film that some products can leave on your teeth.
Use whitening toothpaste
Ask Dr. Pandich for recommendations on whitening toothpaste. Many of these products are abrasive and hard on your tooth enamel, which can actually contribute to more severe discoloration. However, we can provide advice on the best whitening toothpaste to use. Also, you can alternate between whitening and regular toothpaste to reduce the abrasive effects. Ask us which products are best for you.
Have routine dental appointments
Having professional teeth cleaning every six months is critical to keeping your smile bright, white, and healthy. Our hygienists carefully remove plaque and tartar, which can make your teeth look dull and yellow. A professional cleaning leaves your teeth sparkling.
Dr. Pandich can also check for any dental health problems that could impact the appearance of your smile. As with most dental and overall health issues, the earlier you get treatment for a problem, the better.
Additionally, Dr. Pandich can determine if any discoloration is a surface stain that will disappear with a teeth whitening treatment or if you’d be better off considering dental veneers to cover the imperfection.
Teeth whitening can do wonders to brighten a smile and make you look terrific.
Call our office or make an appointment online today if you’re interested in teeth whitening or are due for a dental check-up or cleaning.