Easy Routines to Keep Your Teeth Healthy and White

Published:November 16th, 2011

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It’s a great feeling after you have had your teeth whitened as the results can be pretty amazing, however it’s important to remember that your teeth will gradually begin to revert to their normal shade as teeth whitening cannot permanently lighten teeth. In fact that immediately pleasing whiteness could begin to lessen in as little as one month after your treatment. However there are some easy routines you can follow to help keep your teeth white for longer.

•    Avoid prolonged exposure to, or consumption of foods which could stain your teeth. The worst culprits for staining teeth are tea, coffee and red and white wine. Lots of people think white wine doesn’t stain teeth, and though it isn’t highly coloured it does contain a lot of acid which penetrates the enamel allowing other foods to stain the teeth more easily. If these are your favourite drinks then try to keep consumption down to a minimum; some people even take to drinking through a straw to minimise the contact teeth have with the liquid.
•    Try rinsing your mouth with plain water immediately after consuming highly coloured foods and drinks. It’s very easy just to keep a glass of water beside your plate and to subtly swirl a mouthful of water around your mouth every so often.
•    If you want to brush your teeth then wait at least half an hour after you have finished eating to allow the pH levels in your mouth to return to normal. It can also help to brush your tongue as this can often harbour many of the tannins present in tea and red wine.
•    Pay attention to your oral hygiene routine and brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once-a-day. Ensuring that plaque cannot build up on your teeth will help them appear whiter. You can also use whitening toothpaste, but should choose one which isn’t abrasive. If you do want to use a more abrasive toothpaste to remove surface stains then try to only use it once or twice a week and use your normal brand the rest of the time. It’s also possible to buy whitening mouthwashes, but look for a brand which includes fluoride to help your teeth stay strong.
•    Get your teeth professionally cleaned. Having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months or so will help maintain the whiteness by removing all the tartar which builds up over time. Your hygienist will finish the professional cleaning by polishing your teeth which is excellent at helping to remove surface staining.
•    Treat yourself to a touch-up treatment. The frequency of touch-up treatments depends upon the whitening method chosen, but you may need to touch up your teeth every six months or so, especially after the first year or two. If you are a smoker or if you love your red wine and coffee then you may need a touch-up slightly more often.
•    Don’t overdo the touch-up treatments. It can be tempting to overuse products when you see your pearly white smile fading, but try and resist as you could end up damaging your teeth and gums, and might find you have increased sensitivity. People who have overused whitening products often and up with teeth that are almost blueish colour, as all the colour is bleached out. Over using these products can also make the teeth become more brittle as the treatments tend to temporarily dehydrate the teeth.

About the author

Alison, is a UK born and educated dental professional with over 25 years experience.

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