Are there ways to maintain whiter teeth or to keep your teeth brighter after a whitening treatment? While we love to help patients whiten their smiles, our first goal is to be leaders in preventive care. Preventing tooth discoloration begins with an understanding how your lifestyle directly impacts your smile. What you eat, drink, and your regular hygiene habits contribute to the shade of your teeth.
One foundational strategy to minimizing tooth discoloration begins with being aware of what you put in your mouth. While we know that tobacco discolors teeth, many may not realize that certain highly pigmented foods and drinks can stain your smile.
Common stain-causing drinks include: Coffee (adding milk or cream limits the staining), tea (white tea stains less), soda, red wine, white wine, grape juice, cranberry juice and other beverages that may tend to stain clothing or carpet.
Common stain-causing foods include: Blueberries and other berries, beets, soy sauce, tomato sauce and other heavily pigmented foods. On the other hand, raw and crunchy vegetables tend to cleanse your teeth along with apples, strawberries and oranges.
If you choose to consume highly pigmented food or drink, you may want to consider these tips.
1. Use a straw.
Using a straw while drinking stain-causing beverages tends to minimize the contact of the liquid on your front and most visible teeth.
2. Drink water often.
Drinking water after consuming highly pigmented food or drink allows you to wash some of the stain-causing dyes from the surface of your teeth.
3. Chew gum.
Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which serves as a natural tooth rinse.
Whiter teeth boost self-confidence, increase the likelihood of smiling more, and help you leave a more memorable first impression. If you’re not happy with the shade of your teeth right now, contact us to see how we can help. If you are happy with your pearly whites, follow the tips above to keep them shiny and bright.