Keeping white teeth

While bright white teeth are the image we all aspire to, it’s important to remember that teeth naturally have a wide range of colors. Though discoloring is sometimes caused by disease or poor oral hygiene, often it is the result of food or beverage choices, or even just the natural aging of the tooth.

If you expose your teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining you may see their whiteness start to fade in as time goes by, so here are some tips to help maintain your pearly whites.

Avoid the consumption of or exposure to products that stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, and red wine. If you do choose to consume beverages that stain, consider using a straw so that the liquid bypasses your front teeth.

Brush or rinse immediately after consuming stain-causing beverages or foods.

Follow good oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss at least once daily to remove plaque, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day to kill bacteria that cause plaque. Use a whitening toothpaste (once or twice a week only) to remove surface stains and prevent yellowing. Use a regular toothpaste the rest of the time.

Protect your teeth from trauma. Trauma from injuries and impacts can change the color of your teeth. While you can’t prevent all accidents, you can take precautions when you know you’ll be in situation that makes you vulnerable to impacts. Always wear a mouth guard or other oral protection when engaging in sports and other high impact activities, in order to prevent injury to your teeth.

Avoid excessive ingestion of fluoride. It may seem counterintuitive, but too much fluoride can discolor your teeth. This is why dentists and toothpaste manufacturers alike instruct you to spit out your toothpaste rather than swallow it. Fluoride is integral in the strengthening and maintaining of tooth enamel, but if you take in too much, particularly by swallowing fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash, you risk tooth discoloration.

A bright, healthy smile is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression.