How to get and maintain whiter teeth
Over time, teeth start to discolour, this is an unfortunate consequence of getting older and is typically due to the foods and drinks consumed on a day to day basis that affect the enamel and dentine in the tooth and contribute to plaque build-up.
Maintaining a white smile is not as easy as it sounds. Teeth whitening treatment overseen by a professional dentist is the most effective way to ensure whiter teeth. An initial check-up is recommended to determine whether your teeth are suitable for whitening. Some dentists offer at-home teeth whitening, others offer in practice teeth whitening, and some dental surgeries offer both.
Once you’ve had teeth whitening, or if you’re lucky enough to have a naturally white smile, oral hygiene could help reduce the discolouration of teeth overtime and maintain your pearly whites for longer. A good daily oral routine involves brushing teeth thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, across all surfaces for at least two minutes to remove bacteria.
However, there are other steps that can be taken to enhance your oral hygiene routine…
Oral hygiene tips
1) Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing teeth after eating/drinking
Brushing teeth soon after eating or drinking, especially if consuming fruit juice, will only brush the acid into teeth. So, try to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming goods before brushing teeth.
2) Avoid sugary drinks or at least use a straw
If the urge to consume a fizzy drink is too great, then make sure to use a straw to bypass teeth. This will help reduce contact with the high sugar drink, which over time erodes tooth enamel. It takes 60 minutes for the mouth to recover from the acid in fizzy drinks, so avoid sipping it throughout the day.
3) Cleaning between your teeth
Cleaning between your teeth should form part of a daily oral hygiene routine. It’s not simply a means for dislodging food between teeth, it removes plaque along the gum line, gets in those hard to reach places and reduces the risk of gum disease and bad breath.
4) Drink water after tea, coffee or red wine
Some consumables are known to stain teeth more than others; tea, coffee and red wine are infamous for staining teeth and leaving a film residue which increases discolouration. Swilling the mouth out with water after drinking these, will help dilute the colour and reduce long-term staining.
5) Chew sugar-free chewing gum
Chewing gum increases saliva activity in the mouth, which is the body’s natural defense against acid. Chewing sugar-free gum in between meals can help reduce this acid attack.
6) Home DIY teeth whitening hacks
You’ll probably read other online tips about natural ways to whiten your teeth, from using bananas and strawberries to charcoal and baking soda. However there is no medical evidence to prove that these work and in fact they can actually weaken your teeth in the long run.
Unfortunately even if all of the above best practices are followed, some people have naturally yellower teeth than others, and other people just want a sparkly smile, in which case, cosmetic dentistry is the safest way to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening treatments should always be overseen by a professional dentist.
For further information, visit Teeth Whitening Options.