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How to keep teeth white

Aug 10, 2023Oral health, Teeth Whitening

How to keep teeth white?

Many individuals are blessed with teeth that remain white and healthy throughout their lifetime. However, some may experience discoloration from age, improper dental hygiene practices, dietary habits, or other factors. If your teeth are stained, you may be interested in learning how to maintain a bright, white smile. Even if your teeth have not discolored, it is important to maintain a bright white smile after having undergone certain cosmetic dental procedures, such as veneers.

As we grow older, our dietary habits, lifestyle choices, and natural wear and tear can all have an impact on the whiteness of our smile. Fortunately, there are many ways to maintain a healthy and bright smile, regardless of how much discoloration has occurred.

Minimize Staining Liquids

If you frequently consume coffee and cola, you may have noticed that your teeth have begun to appear less bright. Unfortunately, common drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine can all contribute to discoloration of the teeth. It is recommended that those who are serious about maintaining white teeth limit their consumption of certain beverages.

TIP: It is recommended to use a straw when consuming drinks, especially in the days immediately following a whitening procedure. This will minimize contact between the liquid and your teeth, as sipping through a straw reduces the amount of liquid that comes into contact with them. Reusable straws can be purchased in a set, allowing them to easily be brought along and used wherever needed.

Eliminate Tobacco

The use of tobacco can have severe consequences for oral health, such as gum disease, oral cancer, reduced ability to taste and slower healing after dental procedures. Eliminating the use of tobacco is not only beneficial for enamel whitening, but also provides protection from these adverse risks. Quitting tobacco use can have a positive impact on both the appearance and general health of your teeth. Making this an immediate habit can lead to dramatic improvements in your dental well-being.

Try a Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste can be a beneficial option for eliminating any superficial discoloration that may have developed during the day. Some whitening toothpastes even contain hydrogen peroxide for diminishing food-based stains from the enamel surface. Regular use of a whitening toothpaste can refresh the appearance of teeth on a twice-daily basis, resulting in brighter smiles that boost self-confidence.

Drink Water Between Beverages That Stain

It is advisable to enjoy staining beverages in moderation, with an intake of water between each drink. Proper hydration can benefit your general health, and drinking water can also help flush away any residual liquids that may discolor your teeth. It is recommended to alternate between sips of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and water. Doing so will help extend the life of your flavored beverage as a bonus.

Brush Your Teeth After

To prevent staining of teeth, it is important to brush your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste following any acidic drink, such as coffee. However, because the acidity of the beverage will weaken enamel, it’s recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. The longer a liquid sits on your teeth, the more intense the staining can be, so it is best to brush promptly if possible. Brushing too soon may result in the acidity being distributed across the teeth instead of being removed.

Keep Up Your Daily Oral Care Routine

Proper oral care is an essential component of protecting teeth against staining. Reducing plaque can help to prevent the accumulation of substances that cause discoloration, thus reducing overall discoloration. Twice-daily brushing is essential for maintaining oral hygiene, health, and preventing tooth discoloration. To ensure optimal dental care, it is recommended to floss once a day, as failure to do so can result in staining around the surfaces of the teeth despite regular brushing.

Use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide has been utilized as a natural bleaching agent and an effective bacterial disinfectant for years. Its antiseptic properties make it especially useful for treating injured areas, as it is capable of killing various types of bacteria. Many commercially available whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, which is present at a higher concentration than what is typically used in home settings.

Hydrogen peroxide can be utilized as a mouthwash prior to brushing one’s teeth. Care should be taken to use a 1.5% or 3% solution in order to prevent unwanted side effects. The most widely available concentration of hydrogen peroxide found at drugstores is 3%. This solution can be easily diluted to a 1.5% concentration by mixing equal parts of both the hydrogen peroxide and water.

Preventing Teeth Stains

As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel begins to wear away, exposing an underlying layer known as dentin, which is naturally more yellow in color. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures towards avoiding staining of our teeth, particularly after undergoing a whitening procedure. Properly caring for your teeth and refraining from consuming foods and beverages that may cause discoloration can maximize the longevity of your whitening results, keeping your smile looking bright up to one year. Over-whitening can lead to teeth appearing translucent and bluish, so it is important to maintain the result with regular upkeep.

To Keep Teeth White, Don’t Light Up

Smoking not only poses a serious risk to your health, but it can also lead to unsightly brown stains on teeth. The penetrating nature of tobacco particles deepens their discoloration into the grooves and pits of enamel, often requiring more than simple brushing for removal. The extended amount of time spent smoking can result in increased discoloration that becomes harder to remove. Additionally, smoking yields noticeable bad breath and gum disease in addition to the heightened chances of suffering from certain forms of cancer.

Sports Drinks Tough on Teeth?

According to one study conducted by General Dentistry, energy and sports drinks may be more damaging to teeth than other sweetened beverages. Researchers have discovered that extended consumption of various beverages, such as bottled lemonade, has the potential to erode tooth enamel, causing teeth to become thin, translucent, and discolored. To protect against this form of tooth erosion:

  • It is advised to avoid extended consumption of these beverages.
  • It is recommended to rinse your mouth with water after consuming any beverage.

Medications That Can Stain Teeth

Research has demonstrated that tetracycline, an antibiotic, may cause discoloration of the teeth in developing children. Additionally, research indicates that antibacterial mouthwashes containing either chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride can also lead to stains on teeth. Certain antihistamines, antipsychotics, and blood pressure medications may be the cause of tooth discoloration, as can too much iron and fluoride. If over-the-counter bleaching agents are ineffective at brightening your teeth, discuss dental bonding with your dentist. This procedure involves applying a tooth-colored material to the teeth for improved appearance.

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