Your smile is one of your biggest assets, and it signals that you’re friendly and approachable. If your smile is dingy because your teeth are discolored, you’re not putting your best self forward.
Dr. Brent Lin and his support staff perform teeth whitening procedures for our patients living in and around our community in Livermore, California. To help keep your teeth their whitest, here are five tips to help you change your smile from dull to bright.
Use good oral hygiene
Your mother made you brush your teeth when you were little, right? It’s a great habit to keep up. Sometimes it’s tempting to skip the routine when you’re in a rush to get out the door and beat the morning traffic, but don’t give in to that temptation. Brushing, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash are the first lines of defense against tooth decay. They’re also daily tools that help keep your teeth their whitest.
Do you just give your teeth a cursory brush for a few seconds? That doesn’t do the job. Brush with a fluoride toothpaste for up to two minutes. A whitening toothpaste can help keep discoloration at bay.
If you just brush and go, the job isn’t even half done. Use string floss or a water flosser to remove the stubborn food particles that lodge in the cracks between your teeth, and then finish with the mouthwash.
Visit the dentist regularly
Visiting Dr. Lin every six months enables your dental hygienist to clean your teeth professionally. After cleaning and polishing to remove stains, your mouth feels fresh and your teeth shine.
Your hygienist removes any plaque buildup that causes cavities. Plaque contains bacteria that cause tooth decay. If you don’t visit the dentist regularly, plaque buildup leads to tartar, which is plaque that has hardened on your teeth. Tartar left on your teeth for long periods not only makes teeth lose their beautiful white color; it can also lead to significant tooth decay and gingivitis, or gum disease. Professional cleanings every six months help keep your teeth bright, white, and healthy.
Limit dark beverages and foods that stain
Although coffee helps get you started in the morning, it stains your teeth if you drink it regularly over time. The same goes for tea, red wine, and brown sodas. Dark berries, while good for your health, also stain your teeth. If you can, brush your teeth shortly after you drink dark beverages or eat foods that stain. Try substituting more plain water for the tooth-staining drinks.
Don’t use tobacco
Tobacco, whether you chew it or smoke it, can stain your teeth, turning them brown. Dark teeth look unnatural and unhealthy, and they certainly don’t make a good first impression. And your teeth aren’t the only body part harmed by tobacco. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to all kinds of health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. Try a cessation program if you use tobacco now. Your body — and your teeth — will thank you.
Use sugar sparingly
Sugar promotes the growth of bacteria in your mouth that cause plaque and gum disease. Plaque and tartar buildup are yellowish and make teeth lose their healthy white look. If you eat sweets, try to brush your teeth shortly after you consume sugary treats.
To help keep your teeth their whitest, call our office to make an appointment with Dr. Lin or click the button to book online.