How do you keep your teeth white?
It’s said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but your smile can light up a room. A beautiful smile radiates confidence, joy, and happiness. One of the ways to keep your smile radiant and beautiful is whitening treatments. Whitening treatments are ideal for removing surface stains or for touching up your smile before a big event, such as a wedding, work function, graduation, or other important celebration where you want to look your best.
We’re often asked, how can I keep my smile white after a whitening treatment? Here are our tips for ensuring you get the most from your whitening treatments.
1. Brush and Floss Daily
You’ve heard it time and time again, and you probably remember your mom or dad encouraging you to brush your teeth daily as a child. Brushing and flossing daily really is essential for optimal health and wellness. Not sticking to a daily oral hygiene routine can lead to cavities, decay, discoloration, and tooth loss in addition to other serious problems such as gingivitis, gum disease ( commonly known as periodontal disease), and infections.
READ MORE: Back to the Basics: Oral Hygiene 101
You may be surprised to hear that the state of your oral health is also typically an indication of your overall health and wellness. Individuals who are more susceptible to infection may also have other health concerns as a result of or side effect of other complications such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. How well you take care of your teeth and gums is directly correlated to an increase of oral pathology including oral cancer and throat cancer.
2. Use At-Home Whitening Products to Touch Up
Using at-home whitening products such as whitening toothpastes and whitening strips after or between professional whitening sessions can help remove surface stains that lead to discoloration.
READ MORE: Do At-Home Whitening Treatments Really Work?
What is the difference between at-home teeth whitening treatments and professional whitening treatments?
Unlike surface stains which can be removed by at-home whitening treatments, the deeper enamel stains have to be removed by professional whitening treatments. This can require the help of a dentist and professional whitening treatments. While at-home whitening treatments can be beneficial for surface stains and maintaining your pearly whites after a professional whitening treatment, they won’t reverse years of discoloration and decay.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PROFESSIONAL WHITENING TREATMENTS →
3. Use a Straw
Using a straw can also prevent permanent tooth discoloration by limiting the amount of contact between your teeth and what you’re drinking. Due to the recent research which has been presented on the dangers plastic straws can create for animals and the environment, you may opt for environmentally-friendly options such as stainless steel, ceramic, and 100% recyclable paper straws.
4. Avoid Foods and Beverages Which Can Stain Teeth
Some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration come from our diet. The foods and beverages we consume can leave behind residues that require professional whitening treatments to remove. These include foods and drinks like:
- Grape Juice
- Cranberry Juice
- Prune Juice
- Sports Drinks
- Ice Cream
While brushing and flossing in the morning, in the evening, and after meals can help remove the buildup of residue left behind by food and drink, constant or repeated exposure to these foods and beverages can cause permanent staining that will require professional teeth whitening to remove. To prevent issues with permanent discoloration, take care to brush and floss as often as possible, and avoid these types of foods and drinks when you can.
5 Drinks to Avoid for a Whiter Smile
If you want to preserve your beautiful new smile following a professional whitening treatment, here are a few types of beverages to avoid and why.
The food coloring, carbonation, and acidic compounds added to sodas wreak havoc on your teeth by causing cavities and tooth decay, which is reason enough to avoid them if you can, but the discoloration caused by sodas can be difficult to remove with at-home whitening treatments.
READ MORE: The Dangers of Carbonated Drinks
2. Coffee and Tea
Many people think of coffee as the worst offender when it comes to beverages which can discolor your teeth, but tea can leave behind just as much residue which leads to discoloration. Again, using a straw can help prevent contact between coffee and tea and your teeth, but avoiding coffee and tea with added sugar is also beneficial for overall oral health and preventing cavities and tooth decay.
The tannins that give wines their flavor are also tooth enamel’s worst nightmare. Unless you want to sport the not so chic look of discolored teeth, take care to brush after indulging in a glass, or limit your wine intake for optimal results.
4. Gatorade and Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are full of added sugar and food coloring which have absolutely no nutritional value. If you’re looking to hydrate fast, opt for a water with electrolytes, such as Smart Water. You’ll enjoy the benefits of hydration without the downside of added calories and cavity-causing ingredients.
5. Kool-Aid and Crystal Light
It’s tempting to quench your thirst with Kool-Aid or Crystal Light when you’re looking to add some flavor to your water. Opt for fresh fruit blends which add a hint of flavor without sacrificing your smile’s natural beauty. Even sugar-free versions of your favorite flavored drinks have preservatives, food coloring, and other ingredients you’ll want to avoid.
Where to Get Teeth Whitening Treatments in Memphis, TN
Dr. Miles Moore and the team at Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offer professional teeth whitening treatments in Memphis to help you achieve that radiant smile. Whether your wanting a whiter and brighter smile just in time for a big event or your seeking a confidence booster that will leave a great first impression, Schedule an appointment today to get your smile summer ready!
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT →
This article was reviewed by Dr. Miles Moore of Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Moore is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists who has received extensive training in implant dentistry. He is a member of multiple dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Memphis Dental Society.