Whether you’ve purchased a set of at-home whitening strips or sat in your dentist's chair, you’ve probably been using a peroxide-based bleach solution. The stronger the concentration of peroxide, the brighter your teeth will be. No matter which teeth whitening method you and your dentist decide on, your teeth will always be at risk for returning to the dingy, yellow shade you sought to eliminate in the first place.
Drs. Andrew Sarowitz and Andrew Moshman at MediDental Care® want you to love your smile for as long as you can, and they share their tips for making sure the whitening treatment lasts.
What stains your teeth?
It’s important to understand what stains your teeth the most before you can go about preventing them from yellowing. The most common threats to white teeth are foods and drinks that are acidic and/or rich in color. The acid in foods and drinks wears down the enamel, leaving the teeth unprotected against stains and exposing the yellow-tinted dentin underneath.
Foods and drinks that are most likely to stain and break down your teeth include, but are not limited to:
There are other factors in your diet and lifestyle that also stain your teeth. These are:
Use of tobacco products
Genetics and aging
Grinding your teeth at night
What can I do to prevent my teeth from staining again?
If you want your pearly whites to stay pearly white, it’s going to take dedication and diligence. Because so much of what you eat and do can pose a threat to your teeth, it’s important that you stay vigilant with your teeth care. A plethora of home remedies and tricks can help keep your teeth white, but here are a few that are simple and easy to do:
1. Use a straw
If you’re an avid wine drinker, the thought of sticking a plastic straw in your vintage glass of red might be appalling, but it’s less appalling than watching the stains creep back over your teeth. Using a straw lessens the time the wine lingers around your teeth.
2. Rinse, rinse, rinse
Simply swishing some water in your mouth and swallowing after taking a sip of your wine, soda, or coffee will help to reduce the amount of time the stain has to sink into your teeth. If swishing water after every sip is a hassle, be sure to rinse after every meal or talk to your dentist about a stain-fighting mouthwash.
3. Brush often and effectively
Brushing your teeth to prevent stains may seem like the most obvious method for preventing teeth stains, but if you’re not brushing correctly, you may be doing more harm than good. Often people brush for too long and/or too hard, risking damage to the surface of the teeth. Some people rush through their brushing routine and don’t do a good enough job of removing stains.
Some will ignore the frayed bristles and fail to get a new toothbrush when it’s time. Take a good look at your toothbrush. If it’s starting to look worn down, it’s probably time for a new brush that will do its job in removing stains and cleaning your teeth.
You may want to talk to your dentist about switching to an electric toothbrush, which can help to remove stains even better than your manual one.
These are just a few of the most effective ways you can help to maintain the life of your whitened teeth. Talk to your dentist about the best methods for your lifestyle and needs.
If you’re tired of whitening your teeth and whitening them again shortly after treatment, call today to make an appointment to discuss your brightening and stain-prevention options.