Consider teeth whitening to be an investment in yourself. It’s an essential part of maintaining a healthy smile. But teeth whitening can also be a great confidence booster and this can have a positive effect on other aspects of your life. After all, the better you look on the outside, the better you feel on the inside.
Unfortunately, without proper maintenance, white teeth don’t last forever. You have to take proper care of your oral health in order to uphold those pearly whites. Here are some excellent tips to help you extend the results of teeth whitening.
Quit Using Tobacco Products
You already know that smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are terrible for your health. Tobacco contains numerous toxins that are released into your bloodstream that prevent oxygen from getting to your vital organs, which can lead to horrible health problems. On a cosmetic level, though, tobacco stains your teeth. By continuing to smoke or chew tobacco after a teeth whitening session, you’re effectively undoing all of the work that you and your dentist put into cleaning your teeth.
Aside from staining your teeth, tobacco use also increases your risk of oral cancer. One study found that a minimum of 8 out of 10 oral cancer patients are long-time smokers. So, quitting is always a good idea. If not for the sake of your health, then at least do it for the sake of your teeth!
Limit Intake of Coffee and Other Dark-Coloured Beverages
Coffee, tea, cola, and red wine are all the top culprits when it comes to beverages that stain your freshly whitened teeth. That’s why dentists always tell their patients to refrain from eating or drinking beverages for several hours after a teeth whitening or cleaning session.
Soft drinks, even the clear ones, are especially bad for your teeth. Not only do they stain your teeth, but the high sugar contents can stick to the crevices between your teeth and slowly erode your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the thin barrier that protects your teeth from harmful bacteria and infections. Once your tooth enamel has been destroyed, it’s gone for good and can’t be replaced.
It’s unrealistic to ask people to completely give up coffee, tea, or soft drinks for the rest of their lives. Even dentists, enjoy these things from time to time. After all, we’re only human! But you should heed your dentist’s advice and refrain from drinking dark-coloured liquids immediately after getting your teeth whitened. Limiting your intake of these beverages will reduce their staining capability over time and help extend the effects of teeth whitening.
Maintain a Good At-Home Dental Hygiene Routine
It’s important to have a good at-home dental hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing every night before bed. Brushing your teeth twice a day using toothpaste that contains baking soda is a great way to maintain the whitening effect on your teeth. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that gently removes surface stains from your teeth, so it’s perfect to use as toothpaste or as part of a post-meal rinse/mouthwash.
Baking soda also contains salt and alkaline compounds that effectively lighten stains caused by acidic foods and beverages such as coffee, red wine, tea, soy sauce, tomatoes, and berries.
Flossing also helps keep your teeth white because it removes excess food particles that can become lodged between your teeth and parts of the mouth that are unreachable using just a toothbrush.
Eat Foods That Promote Good Dental Health
Foods that promote good dental health include:
- Calcium-rich foods like low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, yogurt, fortified tofu and soy drinks, almonds, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables
- Phosphorous-rich foods such as lean meat, dairy, beans, nuts, eggs, and fish
- Crunchy foods that scrub your teeth clean while you eat and that stimulate saliva production like celery, apples, and carrots
- Soft tart fruits like pineapples and oranges that stimulate saliva production in the mouth and naturally clean the teeth
All of the abovementioned foods and beverages are part of a healthy and balanced diet. If you’re lactose intolerant, you can substitute milk and dairy for other calcium and vitamin-D-fortified items that have similar health benefits.
Also, try to make a habit of rinsing your mouth out thoroughly throughout the day after every meal or snack. Food particles that become lodged between your teeth and stay there all day begin to rot quickly and this can lead to unpleasant and pungent halitosis. Decaying food particles are also a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can develop within your oral cavity. These bacteria thrive on leftover food particles and will eventually start to form plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
Plaque and tartar are sticky yellow substances that adhere to the surface of your teeth and slowly wear down the enamel, which can lead to cavities and severe tooth decay.
Rinsing your mouth out with water or simply swishing water in your mouth and then swallowing it helps to dislodge these food particles quickly rather than allowing them to stay between your teeth.
Schedule Routine Dental Checkups
With the global COVID-19 pandemic still in full swing, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little more anxious than usual about visiting the dentist. But it’s still important to make your dental health a priority. Normally, we’d recommend that you schedule a dental checkup, cleaning, or teeth whitening session at least once every six months just to maintain your oral health.
Routine dental checkups are still important, but they might look a little different than what you’re used to.
At Princeview Dental Group, we want to reassure all of our patients that we’re taking all the necessary precautions to ensure your health and safety during your appointment. We have been serving The Kingsway neighbourhood in Etobicoke for nearly 25 years, providing cleanings, checkups, and emergency dental services. You can trust us to look after your dental health and keep your teeth clean and white. Contact us today to book your appointment for teeth whitening.