tips on keeping your smile white and bright

Keeping your teeth white isn't always easy. Even if you brush and floss every day, certain things you eat and drink can create stubborn stains that are difficult to remove.

Even if you're considering cosmetic dentistry, it's still important to maintain your smile to help your treatment last longer before you need a touch-up.[1]

Here are 4 tips to help you hold on to a sparkling smile.

1. Follow a good oral hygiene routine

Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day is recommended by dentists to prevent plaque from building up on your teeth.[2] Not only can plaque look unsightly, it can also interfere with cosmetic treatments as your teeth and gums should be healthy before a whitening treatment.

Your dentist may advise that you add an antiseptic mouthwash to your oral care routine to reduce bacteria and plaque even further and lower your risk of tooth decay. If your teeth are damaged by decay, this can wear down their hard enamel surface over time and expose the yellow dentine beneath.[3]

2. Avoid staining food and drink

Strongly-coloured foods and drinks are among the main causes of tooth stains.[1] If you drink tea or coffee every day, adding milk can help to reduce this effect, as well as providing calcium to help strengthen your teeth.

Red wine, fruit juice and sports drinks can also leave their pigments behind on your teeth, while acidic drinks such as white wine and soft drinks can weaken teeth and make them easier to stain. You should also avoid brushing your teeth for at least 1 hour after eating or drinking, as brushing too soon could remove some of the enamel.[3]

3. Drink through a straw

If you don't want to give up your favourite drinks, there are still ways to reduce contact of the staining liquids with your teeth. One is to use a reusable straw and to take small sips, as this should limit contact to the back of your teeth.[4]

It’s also important to drink plenty of water to rinse your mouth and help you stay hydrated. Tap water is better than bottled water, as it's more likely to contain fluoride which helps to protect your teeth against decay.[2]

4. Don't smoke

There are already plenty of good reasons not to smoke, so here's one more – smoking stains your teeth.[4]

Tobacco use is also a risk factor for a number of dental diseases, including gum disease and oral cancer, and your risk factor will be even higher if you also drink heavily. [5]

Talk to our cosmetic dentists in Sydney CBD

Teeth discolouration caused by medication, health conditions and injuries can't be treated with peroxide gels and may need a different treatment such as dental veneers.[6] It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor and dentist about any concerns you may have about the impact of your health and any treatment on your smile, and what they may be able to do to help.

Do you want to know more about treatments to help whiten your smile? Call our friendly team at Sydney CBD Dental on (02) 9232 3900 today or get in touch online.

References

[1] Australian Dental Association. Teeth Whitening: Getting the best result for your smile [Online] 2016 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: https://www.ada.org.au/getattachment/Your-Dental-Health/Resources-for-Professionals/Resources-for-Teens-12-17/Teeth-whitening-the-best-result-for-your-smile/Teeth-whitening,-getting-the-best-result-for-your-smile.pdf.aspx

[2] Dental Health Services Victoria. Food and drink for healthy teeth [Online] 2009 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: https://www.dhsv.org.au/dental-advice/teeth-tips-and-facts/food-and-drink

[3] Better Health Channel. Dental erosion [Online] 2017 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dental-erosion

[4] WebMD. Tips to Keep Your Teeth Stain-Free [Online] 2017 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/stains-teeth#1

[5] Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Oral cancer risk factors [Online] 2015 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: https://www.cancercenter.com/oral-cancer/risk-factors/

[6] WebMD. Dental Health and Tooth Discoloration [Online] 2017 [Accessed May 2018] Available from: https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-discoloration