Many people want to keep their teeth white, but doing so can be tough. Often keeping your teeth white can involve changing your lifestyle, habits, and regular visits to the dentist. These tips can help you keep your teeth white through diligence and smart oral hygiene habits.
1. Rinse After Consuming Stain-Causing Foods or Drinks
Certain foods and drinks stain teeth more easily than others. Knowing what can cause this problem, and rinsing or swishing with water after consuming anything that stains teeth, can help protect the enamel. Foods and drinks that stain teeth include:
- Red wine
Acidic foods and drinks (like citrus and lemon juice) can also cause a problem because they can harm the enamel and make it easier for teeth to become stained.
To rinse after every meal, take a swig of water, then roll the water around in your mouth a little until you can feel food bits in your teeth beginning to loosen.
2. Use a Straw
Using a straw helps liquids to bypass the teeth and go straight down the back of the throat. This helps protect the enamel and limits some of the teeth's exposure to drinks that stain.
Some of the most staining drinks (like coffee and red wine) are not typically consumed from a straw. For some, switching to iced coffee or mixing red wine with juice and ice can make drinking these beverages from a straw seem more natural.
3. Stop Smoking
If you're not a smoker, then you can skip this step. However, if you do smoke, then your teeth are likely stained by tobacco use. Tar and nicotine in the cigarettes turn teeth yellow, then brown. The dentist can treat these issues through teeth whitening procedures, but the only way to stop the problem permanently is by giving up the habit.
4. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day
One of the best ways to protect your teeth is to adopt good oral hygiene habits. Brushing with a soft bristle brush helps remove food buildup from the teeth. It's especially important to brush your teeth after eating foods that can stain. Use tooth-whitening toothpaste for extra-white teeth.
5. Rinse With Antibacterial Mouthwash
Antibacterial mouthwash helps kill the bacteria that can turn teeth brown or yellow. Rinse daily (or more often) with antibacterial mouthwash to help keep your teeth white. Rinse with mouthwash after brushing to kill any bacteria left in the mouth after brushing is finished.
6. Get Your Teeth Whitened at the Dentist
Tooth whitening toothpaste can help, but a more effective way to whiten your teeth is to have the dentist do it. A tooth whitening from the dentist can last a year or two, although touch ups may be required to keep your teeth looking their best.
Some people who get their teeth whitened at the dentist may choose to do their touch ups with a tooth whitening gel pen at home. These products are available in pharmacies and other stores and are convenient for people who don't have the time to get back to the dentist. Talk to your dentist about using a gel pen for whitening touch ups to find out whether or not this would work well for you.
Following these tips, and seeing the dentist on a regular basis, can help prevent your teeth from becoming stained. If you have more questions about how you can keep your teeth white, talk to a reputable dentist in your area. At Tomsik Family Dentistry, we're happy to answer patient questions about how they can prevent their teeth from becoming stained with time.