Practically every patient we have has asked us how to keep teeth white at one point or another. None of us want yellow teeth, so it's important that we do everything we can to prevent it. As a family dental practice, we pride ourselves on giving our patients all the information and tools they need to keep their mouths in tip top shape. That includes helping them keep those pearly whites white, which is what we're talking about today.
Before we talk about what you can do to keep teeth white, we want to take a moment to talk about what you can't do. Some people have naturally whiter teeth than others, and it's important to remember that. Every person's teeth are different. People with naturally thinner or more tanslucent enamel will naturally have teeth that have a yellow hue to them. There's nothing that can be done about that outside of veneers. That's just the way their teeth are. Conversely, people who have thicker or more opaque enamel tend to have whiter teeth.
So moving forward with the understanding that genetics can't be changed, let's talk about some of the things that you can do to keep your teeth as white as possible. There are several ways that you can help keep your teeth looking as white as they possibly can.
As with almost anything regarding the mouth, it starts with good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day and using mouthwash help keep bacteria, plaque, and tartar to a minimum, all of which helps keep your teeth as white as possible.
If you can, eliminate foods and drinks from your diet that cause staining or yellowing of the teeth. Drinks like coffee and tea are notorious for staining and yellowing teeth. So are acidic foods. If you can't give up your coffee or tea, consider drinking it with a straw.
When you drink your coffee or tea without a straw, the liquid rushes over all of your teeth, and over time these drinks will stain the teeth. However, if you drink with a straw, the staining effects are drastically reduced because the coffee, tea, and other staining beverages pass past your teeth rather than over and through them.
You can't eat your food with a straw. Well, you could but that would involve a blender and be super gross. So instead, be sure to brush your teeth after any meal containing acids such as citrus or tomatoes.
This should be done for your overall health, anyway, but these products also cause tooth staining. Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are both incredibly good at staining the teeth, so if you're looking to keep your pearly whites white, stop using tobacco if you can.
Whitening toothpaste doesn't work as well as they'd like you to believe on the commercials, but it does work to a degree. Brushing with whitening toothpaste at least twice a day can help reduce yellowing at least a little. Whitening strips and other whitening products can also help reduce yellowing of the teeth. Again, be aware that they're not quite as amazing as their advertising would have you believe, but they do help some.
You can have the best oral healthcare routine in the world, but you should still make a point of having your twice-yearly cleaning and checkup. A professional dental cleaning helps remove more plaque than normal brushing and allows the dentist to get into the areas that your brushing and flossing simply can't get to, as well. This won't magically whiten your teeth, but it will help keep your teeth whiter over the long haul.
If you're doing all you can but your teeth still aren't as white as you'd like, stop in and see us. In addition to being the best implant dentist in Staten Island, we consider ourselves the best family dental practice, as well. Stop by and we'll talk with you about whitening options ranging from professional whitening procedures to veneers. Stop by or give us a call. We'd love to hear from you.