There’s nothing better than being able to smile freely, without any self-consciousness about the color of your teeth. With regular teeth whitening, you can maintain a sparkling smile while still enjoying things like fruit, red wine, and coffee. However, you’ll need to be vigilant to keep them from staining your freshly whitened teeth.
At Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, in Washington, DC, Dr. Culotta Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide teeth whitening to give you a brilliant smile, and guidance on how to keep it that way.
Making the most of your teeth whitening results
More and more people are investing in their smile, with teeth whitening being a primary concern. Around 37 million Americans invested in teeth whitening in 2020, and products promising a brighter smile line the shelves of every store’s dental hygiene section.
Professional bleaching continues to be the most effective form of teeth whitening, but it can be costly. If you find that your teeth are yellowing quickly after these sessions, changes to your lifestyle and dental hygiene can help you prevent staining. Here are a few tips:
Avoid staining agents
Usually, the biggest culprits behind teeth yellowing are the foods and drinks you enjoy every day. For example, the following foods and beverages contain staining agents:
- Red wine
- Tomato-based sauces
You don’t have to avoid these foods completely, just make sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth after enjoying them. This will wash away residue and help prevent staining.
It’s common knowledge that smoking affects your health, so naturally it affects your teeth as well. Yellowing and discoloration are more common among smokers and people who use chewing tobacco, so try to cut back this bad habit however you can.
If you cannot completely quit, brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth at various points throughout the day to minimize damage.
Drink water every hour
Perhaps one of the most overlooked factors in tooth decay is dehydration and dry mouth. Your body produces saliva to keep the mouth clean, washing away debris and bacteria so it doesn’t form plaque on your teeth.
If you struggle to produce saliva, it’s important that you sip and swish water whenever possible. Even if you don’t experience dry mouth, carrying a reusable water bottle instead of buying fruit juice or soda is better for your teeth.
Use a whitening toothpaste
The products you find in the supermarket aren’t nearly as strong or effective as professional teeth whitening, but they can be used to maintain your results. Buy a dentist-approved whitening toothpaste or mouthwash, and use it a few times a week.
It’s important to note that many whitening products now contain charcoal, an abrasive used to remove stains. Avoid using these toothpastes, as they wear away your enamel and can cause sensitivity.
When to touch-up your teeth
The best part about professional teeth whitening is that you can have it done more than once. In fact, getting them whitened along with your routine cleaning is standard practice for many adults.
While you shouldn’t obsess over the shade of your teeth, if they become notably yellower than the whites of your eyes, it might be time for a touch-up. Dr. Culotta-Norton provides both in-office and take-home whitening kits, so you can choose a method that suits you best
If you’d like to learn more about teeth whitening, schedule a consultation by calling our office at 202-833-1111, or visit the contact page for more information.