Did you know that the color of your teeth can make or break your smile? Even if you have straight and evenly spaced teeth, if they are stained or discolored it makes your smile look less attractive. Conversely, even teeth that are slightly crooked or that have odd spacing can look more attractive when they have a vibrant, white color. For this reason, teeth whitening procedures have grown increasingly popular. While professional whitening procedures can whiten your teeth by as many as 5-10 shades, it is important to note that you are partially responsible for how long these whitening results last. Therefore, here are five ways to keep your teeth white:
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
First and foremost in order to keep your teeth white, you will need to practice good oral hygiene to keep them clean. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will help to remove excess plaque and bacteria from your teeth in order to keep them clean and free from decay. Additionally, using mouthwash once a day can also decrease bacterial levels and make it harder for plaque to accumulate on the surface of your teeth. It is also important to use toothpaste that contains fluoride as your regular toothpaste, however it is recommended to use a whitening toothpaste 1-2 times a week to remove stains.
Invest in an Electric Toothbrush
Another way to keep your teeth clean and white is to use an electric toothbrush when you brush twice a day. Although manual toothbrushes do an okay job of getting your teeth clean, they are affected by your technique. On the other hand, electric toothbrushes are designed to use the proper technique so all you need to do is move the brush through your mouth. This helps you to get your teeth even cleaner, while not damaging your enamel. If you plan on getting your teeth whitened, then it is highly recommended to invest in an electric toothbrush to make your whitening results last longer.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Unfortunately, many foods and beverages have the potential to stain your teeth, especially those that are highly pigmented, or colored. Some of the more notorious stains come from coffee, red wine, ketchup, curry, and berries, however any colored food or beverage can still stain your teeth. Conversely, foods like apples, carrots, broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits, pineapple, and dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk, can all help to keep your teeth brighter and whiter. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to what you eat and drink, and try to minimize the amount of highly pigmented foods and beverages you consume.
Rinse After Meals
Another way you can keep your teeth whiter is by rinsing them after meals containing highly pigmented foods and beverages. Rinsing your teeth with water or milk not only helps to remove colored pigments, but it also helps to neutralize the pH of your saliva. Depending on the type of food or beverage consumed, it may also be helpful to use mouthwash or brush your teeth about 20 minutes after eating for a more thorough cleaning.
Schedule Regular Cleanings and Touch Ups
After having your teeth whitened, you will need to continue to see your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning. Like brushing and flossing, dental cleanings remove excess plaque to keep your teeth clean and prevent decay. They can also help to extend the life of your whitening results. However, it is an unfortunate fact that your teeth will once again become stained. In most cases, whitening treatments tend to last about 1-3 years, depending on the individual. During this time, some dentists will offer take-home whitening treatments to help maintain your results. As your whitening results fade, however, you will need to consider having another whitening treatment.
Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.