Now that your teeth are bright, it’s hard not to share your smile with the world. But if you aren’t careful, those pearly whites you just had brightened by Dr. Ana Chester or Dr. Amy Caicco at Chester Family Dentistry in Warren, Ohio, might start to discolor. Changing a few habits and regular brushing and flossing may help your teeth stay white and bright for up to a year or more.
Limit teeth-staining foods and drinks
Too much coffee or red wine may have been the reason you needed to get your teeth whitened in the first place. To help your teeth stay bright after whitening, you may need to curtail your consumption of these drinks.
Other notorious foods and drinks that stain your teeth include:
- Grape juice
- Dark soda
- Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
- Tomato sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
With beverages, using a straw may help the liquids bypass your teeth and reduce staining. For foods that stain teeth, follow-up with fruits or veggies that help clean the teeth, such as celery, carrots, cauliflower, or apples. You may also be able to reduce staining eating leafy greens, such as a spinach or kale salad, before eating teeth-staining foods. These greens coat your teeth to reduce staining.
If you smoke, stop. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes quickly turn your pearly whites a dull yellow or brown.
Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste handy
Brush, brush, and brush again, especially after eating or drinking foods that are known to stain your teeth. Carry a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste in your pocket or purse. Chewing sugarless gum after eating or drinking may also help reduce stains from settling on your bright white teeth and dull your shine.
If you don’t have access to a toothbrush or toothpaste, swish some water around your mouth to help remove food particles and stains from the teeth.
Brush and floss regularly
At a minimum, you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and before bed, and flossing once a day. Brushing helps remove surface stains and debris, and flossing removes plaque. Follow it all up with a good antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria to prevent the formation of plaque.
Regular toothpaste works fine at keeping your teeth white, but adding teeth whitening toothpaste to your brushing routine twice a week may help increase the longevity of your teeth whitening.
See the dentist as scheduled
Regularly scheduled visits to your dentist at Chester Family Dentist are essential for keeping your teeth white and bright. A good professional cleaning twice a year helps remove stains you can’t get with regular brushing. The powerful brush and mildly abrasive toothpaste are designed to polish your teeth and improve your smile.
At these visits you may also talk about teeth whitening touch ups to help bring back a brightness to your smile. Or, the use of customized teeth whitening trays with prescription-strength teeth whitening gel so you can do your touch-ups at home.
If you’re concerned about keeping your teeth white after brightening, talk to Dr. Chester or Dr. Caicco at Chester Family Dental for their suggestions on what might help.