Nothing exudes confidence like a beautiful smile. In fact, smiling has been shown to make a person seem more approachable and trustworthy. Unfortunately, as we age teeth tend to become yellowed and discolored. This can make a person reluctant to smile in social situations. The good news is that, thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, there are safe and effective methods of teeth whitening. There are also lifestyle factors that can contribute to discoloration. Below is a list of things you can do to keep your pearly whites looking bright.
- Mind your diet
- Keep the mouth moist
- Quit smoking
- Use whitening toothpaste
- Come in for a professional tooth whitening
Most people are aware that beverages such as red wine and coffee can cause staining on teeth. However, certain foods, even healthy ones, can be culprits as well. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits can eat away at the tooth enamel, revealing the dentin below the enamel which will lead to a more yellowish appearance. blueberries , blackberries and pomegranates can be staining also. Of course, these foods all have health benefits, so rather than eliminating them, rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth after consuming them. Also, avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, especially between meals, is important for the overall health of your teeth.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may be at an increased risk for discoloration. Saliva dilutes the acid content of foods and beverages, but people who have dry mouth tend to not produce as much saliva. Drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar free gum, and sucking on sugar free candies that contain xylitol are all helpful ways to combat dry mouth. You can also speak to your dentist about products such as toothpaste and mouthwashes specially formulated for dry mouth.
Smoking another lifestyle factor that can lead to yellowing of the teeth. Chewing tobacco and recreational drugs are also harmful for your teeth as well as your overall health. If you need help quitting smoking, speak to your doctor or dentist about methods and medications that can ease the process.
Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential for oral health as well as for keeping teeth white and looking great. Using toothpastes that contain whitening agents can give you an extra boost. These products usually have a mild abrasive such as baking soda that whittles away at stains. With consistent use, they can help lessen stains and yellowing.
Over-the- counter tooth whitening products may make bold claims, but for best results we recommend that you come in for a professional whitening service. This type of tooth whitening is usually done in two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to produce custom, clear plastic trays.
At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. No tooth whitening system is permanent, but this process leads to better and more longer- lasting results than drugstore varieties can offer.
Your smile is your best accessory. Since there are affordable and effective teeth whitening options, there is no need to deal with discoloration. Give us a call today to book an appointment to discuss whether teeth whitening is right for you.