Whitening treatments may not have a lasting effect if you often expose your teeth to foods and beverages that can stain them. Avoiding the re-staining your teeth may help you maintain the results of your whitening treatment longer and reduce the need for another whitening treatment or touch-up. Here are some tips to help keep those pearly whites bright:
• Avoid or minimize foods and beverages that stain your teeth. Big offenders are coffee, tea, red wine, and dark soda. But, honestly, most intensely or darkly colored foods and beverages can stain teeth… mustard, tomato sauce, curry, berries, soy sauce… it’s a long list and it would be difficult (and most likely undesirable) to avoid them all, all of the time. But trying not to over-do-it can help reduce re-staining.
• Use a straw. When you consume beverages that stain, using a straw can help liquid bypass your front teeth, preventing contact with them and not resulting in stains.
• Drink water after consuming stain-causing beverages or foods. Rinsing with water can minimize the amount of time stain-causing substances are in contact with the teeth.
• Brush, floss, and get regular cleanings. Following good oral hygiene practices should be a no-brainer. Brush at least twice daily and floss at least once daily to remove plaque… plaque and tartar can absorb stains and make teeth look dark around the gum line. Avoid whitening toothpaste, however. It is too hard on enamel.
• Be a non-smoker. Smoking is one of the worst stain-creating factors there is. Smoke stains quickly and is difficult to remove too.
If you do experience your teeth re-staining, it is considered normal. Most people will need touch-up treatments from time to time to keep teeth white. Depending on the type of whitening treatment used and amount of exposure to new staining, you may need a touch-up every few months or every year or two. Smoking or drinking lots of stain-causing beverages will create the need for more frequent touch-ups. We offer several different types of whiting treatment at Mall of Georgia Dentistry: in-office, custom-tray home kits, and strips. We love to help you keep your smile white and bright!