Teeth will not stay pure and white forever. In fact, a bit of discolouration is inevitable as we age. That being said, lifestyle factors can affect the speed at which your teeth will yellow. If there are variables within your control, why would we not take advantage and slow down the natural aging process of your chompers? When you consider that straight white teeth are associated with success—both professionally and romantically—teeth whitening may be a worthwhile self-investment. Here are five lifestyle tips for keeping the staining at bay.
Regular dental check-ups
Perhaps the most obvious way to combat yellowing teeth is to attend the dentist regularly. If you have a mostly clean bill of oral health, you’ll only need to attend an annual check-up. If there are some deeper issues underlying the gums, you’ll want to be going at least every six months. In a standard dentist appointment, your dentist will perform a thorough teeth-cleaning procedure to remove surface stains. They will also polish your teeth to smooth enamel, making it more resistant to stains.
Regular dental check-ups are essential to both oral health and a whiter smile.
Regular dental visits are a great foundation for further teeth-whitening procedures. If you’re interested in reaching stains beyond the surface, you may want to consider professional teeth-whitening procedures—typically 45 minutes in duration. Throughout these procedures, a dental professional will apply whitening gel to your teeth, activating it with a clinical-grade LED light. Professional treatment will be more effective than over-the-counter whitening products, which tend to remove surface-level stains only.
Professional teeth-whitening procedures are like a deep clean for your mouth, eliminating those surface and deep-seated stains alike.
Cut back on the caffeine (and other tooth-staining sustenance)
If you’re an avid tea and/or coffee drinker, you might want to sit down. Unfortunately, tea, coffee, and cola are the worst offenders for teeth-staining. Other dishonourable mentions go to red wine, cranberry juice, and the darker varieties of berries and chocolate. Acidic foods, such as tomato and lemon, are not enamel-friendly, and sugary foods will provide a cosy environment for bacteria growth (potentially leading to tooth decay or discolouration).
If a stellar smile is your goal, you may want to eliminate—or at least moderate—your intake of the above beverages and foodstuffs. For example, try replacing sugary foods with crunchy fruits such as apples, which help to clean teeth and remove stains. You can also replace cola or soft drinks with water, which rinses food particles and provides better hydration. Hydration promotes saliva production, which assists in eliminating bacteria.
All these delicious snacks are obstacles to whiter teeth. To better fight staining, trade in the chocolate for an apple or other crunchy fruit.
Smoking wreaks havoc on your teeth. It leaves behind tobacco stains, which tend to be deeply entrenched in the grooves of your teeth and in your tooth enamel openings. You may notice that smokers tend to have yellow or even brown teeth.
There are many health benefits that come with quitting, but if these are not incentive enough to stop smoking, then perhaps the prospect of a whiter smile may be. You could even try to wean off for a day at a time, gently increasing the time frame, and take note of how the decreased exposure improves your teeth.
Smoking can lead to deeply stained or remarkably darker teeth, which can be striking when compared to a healthier, whiter set of teeth.
Maintain great dental hygiene
Oral health is a daily habit. Don’t neglect your dental health on non-dentist days. Brush your teeth two to three times a day, floss at least once daily, and don’t forget to brush your tongue. We tend to forget that the tongue is a convenient surface for bacteria to settle, thus promoting bad breath and staining. (Frequent tea and coffee drinkers are particularly vulnerable.) Electric toothbrushes are also an excellent addition to your dental routine. They are more effective at removing stains than the traditional manual toothbrush.
Flossing is the Cinderella of dental hygiene. Ensure to include it in your daily teeth-cleaning routine!
Much like regular dental check-ups, maintaining your oral health on the daily will help to promote effective teeth-whitening.