There are two main ways in which our teeth can stain and become discolored. The first is external, where the outer layer of the tooth is quite literally stained (easier to fix), while the second involves the darkening of the inner tooth structure (dentin).
If you want to prevent this and promote a ‘Hollywood smile,’ here are 10 great tips to keep your teeth white and bright.
1) Brush At Least Twice a Day
It goes without saying that to keep your teeth white and bright, you need to have good overall dental hygiene. And that means following the dentist industry’s core advice, to brush at least twice a day – once in the morning and again before bed.
This removes the plaque build-up and bacteria that has formed during the day and overnight, preventing discoloration from taking hold.
Those with particularly strong self-discipline may even opt to brush after every meal, but even dentists now commonly accept that this is a hard task to maintain and might not be that much more beneficial.
In short – brush your teeth!
2) Avoid Drinks that Stain
One of the prime culprits of teeth staining is not necessarily poor hygiene (in terms of failing to brush or floss), but consuming the wrong things.
Drinks like red wine, coffee and tea can be particularly bad for discoloration because they have strong colors themselves but also promote erosion of the outer tooth enamel. However, this usually occurs over the long-term as opposed to one sitting.
Other than avoiding such drinks altogether, one way to reduce the damage is to simply rinse well with water after consuming them and/or chew some sugar-free gum.
3) Avoid Drinks that Damage
As well as drinks that are likely to stain teeth, you should also avoid drinks that can do general damage to teeth and cause deeper discoloration. Sodas (especially the sugary kind), alcohol in all forms, and even lemon water (due to the acidity) can do harm to your teeth and contribute to the staining process, as well as cavities.
Once again, following up with some water is a good way to reduce this damage. It’s also wise to avoid these kinds of drinks altogether before going to bed.
4) Quit Smoking
We all know smoking is bad for our health, but it can also be bad for our smile. The many chemicals that pass through the mouth when smoking can cause all sorts of damage to your teeth and gums, and can also cause oral cancer.
In terms of discoloration, you only have to look at the yellow stains in the vehicles and homes of smokers – now imagine that on your teeth!
In just a few weeks of regular smoking, the nicotine and tar can begin to turn your teeth yellow.
5) Floss Daily and After Meals
Flossing removes excess pieces of food and plaque between the teeth that regular brushing often misses. It also reaches between the gum-line where bacteria can lay undetected, causing gum disease.
Flossing daily reduces the ability for discoloration to take hold and it’s also wise to floss (or at least use a toothpick) after meals to ensure there isn’t anything stuck between your teeth.
Whiteness comes from overall good hygiene, and flossing is integral to that.
6) Have Regular Dental Check-ups
No matter how good you think your oral hygiene routine is, it is never a good idea to avoid the dentist. They will always give you new tips and advice and pick up on areas you might be missing. They’ll also give you a professional clean a few times a year to ensure that there is no long-term plaque build-up. This is a lot more thorough than is even possible with a toothbrush.
Dentists can also advise you on professional and realistic tooth whitening procedures.
7) Don’t Put Off Recommended Procedures
Dental procedures can sometimes be quite expensive, but putting them off is only going to prolong the financial stress, make the problem worse and probably cause you to spend more money anyway. Putting off recommended procedures is also going to harm the visual aesthetics of your teeth.
If you need help paying for dental procedures there are loans available online that can cover the costs, including aesthetic procedures like whitening.
8) Maintain General Health
Maintaining overall health is also important for oral health. Ensuring you have the right nutrients (particularly those that benefit bones like calcium and iron), will help keep your teeth strong and white. Vitamin C is also beneficial to the gums and can prevent bleeding and gum weakness.
9) Don’t Brush Directly After Fruit
Although brushing after meals is obviously good for preventing plaque from forming right at the source, if you have eaten excessive fruit or acidic foods, the act of brushing can actually speed up the erosion of the enamel and irritation of gums.
To prevent this wait an hour or so until your saliva does its work, ensure you have rinsed with some water and chewing sugar-free gum can also help.
10) Don’t Use Too Many Whitening Products
One thing you shouldn’t be is obsessive over your teeth. It is definitely possible to brush too hard and too often, causing damage. It’s also not a good idea to buy every whitening product on the market.
Some simply don’t work, other might clash with each other, and if you’re inexperienced and using too high a strength of peroxide you’ve purchased in an online kit, you could also cause damage to your teeth and gums.
Your dentist is more qualified than anyone to recommend proper whitening methods.
So, what are you waiting for? Apply the above 10 tips and you will stand the best chance of keeping your smile white and bright!