If there’s one thing I know after years of working with patients, it’s how much individuals appreciate a bright smile. After all, your smile is your calling card. It’s one of the first things others notice when you step into the boardroom, go on a first date, attend a class reunion, and simply walk down the street. Many of our Great Neck and Briarwood patients have questions about keeping their teeth bright and white. In today’s world, we are bombarded with images of celebrities flashing perfect smiles. Our televisions and magazines have advertisements that promote everything from charcoal toothpaste and at-home whitening kits to sonic toothbrushes. Heck, there are even filters on our favorite apps with the sole purpose of transforming our grins.
With so much information floating around, it’s important to break through the noise and understand the most efficient and safest ways to keep teeth white. Below are a few examples of how to do just that.
See professional help
Although there are some benefits to using at-home whitening tools, it’s hard to beat the professional care that comes with a visit to your dentist. In our office, we use an advanced system that can lighten the shade of your teeth on multiple levels in just one sitting. Additionally, scheduling regular cleanings and checkups can help you stay ahead of stains.
Nicotine found in tobacco products is one of the number one ways individuals end up with yellowed or brown teeth. This is especially true with lifetime smokers. The best thing you can do, for your mouth and your body in general, is to quit smoking. Of course, this is easier said than done. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are addictive. Fortunately, there are many tools to help you stop. Reach out to your general healthcare provider for resources. You can also look into peer support groups or patches and gum. To stay motivated, consider jotting down your reasons for stopping, then track your progress.
Watch what you eat and drink
“You are what you eat.” This old adage has stood the test of time because it’s true. What you put into your body matters, including for your teeth. You likely know that when you overindulge on sweets, your teeth are exposed to sticky, sugary substances and are more prone to developing cavities. The enamel on your teeth is similarly sensitive, and certain foods and drinks can be more staining than others. Coffee, tea, and red wine are common culprits for causing dull, yellow smiles. Likewise, acidic foods and drinks can wear down your enamel, making staining easier. You don’t have to radically alter your diet, but actively think about what you are consuming and brush after your meals. Even small changes can make a significant difference in the battle against stained teeth.
Take your oral health routine seriously
We get it. After a busy night out or a day packed with virtual meetings and household duties, the last thing you want to do before crawling into bed is head to the sink and start in on your oral health routine. Sometimes, it just feels like a hassle. Although skipping the floss or brushing quicker than you should won’t hurt from time to time, getting into the habit of breaking your habits can prove troublesome to your mouth in the long-haul. By carving out a few minutes in your morning and evening to prioritize your teeth, you can avoid more intense complications down the line. To make things easier, try making it fun. Maybe you could listen to your favorite song or podcast while you brush. You can also consider setting an alarm to remind you of when to head to the bathroom for your routine or track your oral health habits in a planner. Find what’s best for you, then stick to it. Your mouth will thank you!