Whitening your smile is as easy as visiting your local dentist for a professional tooth whiting treatment. But, how do you keep your teeth white in between treatments? Here are some tips for brightening your smile and preventing tooth stains.
How to Whiten Teeth
There are a variety of over-the-counter whitening products that can reduce the appearance of tooth stains. These include whitening strips and whitening toothpaste, which uses abrasive compounds to scrub stains from teeth. You can also visit your dentist’s office for professional whitening treatments which can significantly lighten the color of teeth. These include peroxide-based in-office gels and powerful take-home treatments. Some dentists also offer contemporary ZOOM! teeth whitening treatments that can brighten a smile by several shades.
Teeth Whitening Tips at Home
Tooth discoloration can have a variety of different causes, including natural aging, inherited genetic traits and tobacco use. Some of our favorite foods and beverages can also contribute to dental stains. These include tea, coffee, fruits with dark pigments and red wine.
Research suggests that white wine can also increase the risk of tooth stains, because it contains acid which can etch tooth enamel and leave it more susceptible to staining. Acidic foods can also indirectly contribute to tooth discoloration by etching teeth, which leaves them more vulnerable to stains.
Quick Teeth Whitening Tips
You can reduce the risk of tooth stains and keep your teeth whiter with the following tips:
- Avoid problematic foods and beverages whenever possible.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth after consuming acidic or dark-colored foods and beverages.
- Brush twice every day and floss at least once.
- Make sure you know the pros and cons of available whitening treatments.
- Eat crunchy vegetables, such as celery, carrots and cauliflower, which can help scrub plaque from teeth.
How to Whiten Teeth that Don’t Respond to Treatments
Sometimes tooth stains or natural genetic traits prevent traditional whitening treatments from achieving the desired effect. In these instances, some patients turn to porcelain veneers, which are bonded over the surface of teeth to provide a white, attractive-looking smile that looks very natural.
A good option when the tooth dentin has darkened due to tetracycline, fluorosis or trauma, porcelain veneers can also correct slightly misaligned teeth in some instances. For more information, talk to your local dentist.