Man in dental chair smiling

Wishing You Had White Teeth? Here’s What You Should Know

If you’re like most people, you realize the value of a white, bright smile — and you may be feeling self-conscious because your smile isn’t as dazzling as you’d like it to be. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways available to those who’d like to have whiter teeth. Strategies range from natural, at-home methods that achieve some degree of success for those with mild discoloration and staining to in-office procedures performed by a skilled dentist designed for teeth with more serious, stubborn stains. Here’s what you need to know about having whiter teeth.

Limit Foods and Beverages That Can Stain Your Teeth

One of the most important things to do if your teeth are prone to staining is to avoid foods and beverages that are known to cause stains, such as coffee, black tea, blueberries, and red wine. However, if you’re like most people, you don’t want to give up your favorite things, so make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly after indulging in anything that could stain your teeth. You can also enjoy your favorite beverages by drinking them from a straw to prevent them from having any contact with your teeth.

You can also make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to brush your teeth when you notice they’ve become slightly stained.

Consult With Your Dentist About Your Whitening Options

If simply limiting stain-causing food and beverage items isn’t enough, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss your whitening options. Chairside bleaching is the most common whitening procedure currently performed, but it’s not always the right choice for everyone, especially those whose teeth are deeply stained. Most modern dentists use laser technology to activate the hydrogen peroxide once the mixture is applied to the teeth.

If your teeth are only lightly stained, your dentist may recommend a whitening toothpaste instead. On the other hand, if your teeth are too deeply stained to benefit from in-office whitening procedures, your dentist may recommend having crowns put on.

Please don’t hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment if you’d like to find out more about achieving the bright, white smile of your dreams.

Girl after teeth whitening

How to Make Your Professional Teeth Whitening Results Last

To prolong the results of your professional teeth whitening, you may need to make a few adjustments to your routine. Due to the variation of people’s lifestyles and body chemistry, it’s difficult to predict exactly how long your whitening will last. However, it is possible to delay your next session when you keep these tips in mind.

Focus on the Plaque

Plaque eventually leads to tartar, which can cause the discoloration and yellowing that cloud your mouth. It’s also the usual suspect for any number of dental disorders (e.g., cavities, etc.). Flossing, brushing, and regular dental cleanings can go a long way to keeping your teeth whiter for longer by keeping plaque at bay.

One easy action to try is rinsing your mouth out with water after you eat or drink. It’s impractical to expect you to brush after every meal, but it’s not asking too much to take a few swigs to stop plaque from adhering to the tooth.

Tip to Avoid Stains

You’ve likely already heard the old adage that coffee and wine will stain your teeth, but you may not want to cut these entirely out of your diet:

  • Straws: Straws may not be the most fashionable accessory, but they can keep your teeth whiter for longer. If you’re worried about the environmental impact of the plastic, try carrying a metal one around to limit your footprint. When you consider the effort you made to whiten your teeth, a straw in cola or grape juice can go a long way to protecting your investment.
  • Diet: Chocolate, soy sauce, and even ketchup can end up being poor dietary choices if you want to keep your teeth white. Eating is typically better for your teeth because the solids won’t stay in your mouth as long as the liquids will, but it’s still good to be cautious when you’re eating foods that are rich in color. If you’re not going to avoid them, just make sure you’re drinking water as you go.

If you want to learn more about better oral hygiene, Southern Oaks Dental Care is here to help you keep your teeth gleaming for longer than you ever thought possible!