Which is a real shame because it’s so easy to maintain. Here are just a few tricks to keep your pearly whites shining bright for days, weeks, and months after you’ve finished your teeth whitening treatment.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #1: Practice prevention
Of course, if you want to keep your teeth whiter for the long haul, you need to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing regularly (preferably two to three times a day), using mouthwash in between, and going for checkups with your dentist and oral hygienist. It doesn’t take much to stick a toothbrush in your bag, and it yields tremendous results on your smile.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #2: Eat healthy
A healthy diet can improve your lifestyle in so many ways, but did you know that a whiter smile was one of the many benefits you could glean from eating better? In fact, eating a hearty amount of fruits and vegetables can actually clear away harmful bacteria from your mouth, leaving it cleaner and more protected. Additionally, Calcium and vitamin C also help keep your teeth stronger, thereby minimizing tooth discoloration and enamel erosion.
Limiting sugar will also help you keep those sparkling whites glistening for longer. That’s because sugar promotes Streptococcus mutans growth, a bacteria notorious for inciting plaque and gingivitis build-up.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #3: Use teeth whitening treatments as a touch-up
While there are a ton of great teeth whitening kits on the market that do a great job of getting your teeth whiter, none of them are permanent. In fact, no teeth whitening treatment is, which is why it’s worthwhile investing in a touch-up kit. Many companies sell whitening pens or whitening toothpaste that help you keep your chompers whiter and brighter even in the long term. These accessories are even easier to use and less expensive than the initial products. So you’re really just running maintenance on a job already well done.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #4: Avoid tea
Tea is great for unwinding after a long day, warming up on a cold winter night, or soothing aches and pains. But it’s not the best beverage for your pearly whites. That’s because most teas have something called tannins in them. I’ll spare you the science lesson, but suffice it to say that these organic substances build up on your tooth’s enamel, causing major discoloration over time. For this reason, most dental hygienists will caution patients against the frequent consumption of beverages such as tea. Black tea is a particularly nefarious culprit, so watch out.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #5: Avoid coffee too
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Skip the tea? Yeah, I can do that. No problem.’ But here’s something you didn’t expect: coffee has those same pernicious tannins as tea does. Yep, your beloved morning cup o’ Joe is also doing damage to your sparkling white teeth that you worked (not) so hard to achieve. This one might be a little bit of a harder habit to kick, but if you want to maintain that pristine look, kicking coffee to the curb might be something to consider.
If this is out of the question, all hope is not lost, my friend. If you just have to have your daily (or hourly…) cup of coffee, then keep a toothbrush handy. When you finish your drink, hop over to the bathroom and brush, brush, brush. This will prevent the tannins from building up, keeping your tooth enamel safe and clean. Phew!
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #6: And then there’s the red wine
Ok, you’re probably ready to stop reading at this point, but you asked, so I’m telling. Good news. Red wine does NOT contain tannins like there are in coffee and tea! Bad news. Red wine does contain acids, dyes, and (yep) other types of tannins that will also stain your teeth over time. Solution? I know you’re not skipping out on your nightcap. So, once again, keep a toothbrush on hand and clean up after yourself. And when all else fails, refer to my next tip...
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #7: Use a straw
Ok. most people aren’t going to quit drinking their favorite beverages even if it means their white smile will become discolored. If that’s the case, we’ll have to come up with another solution of course. And that’s where the straw comes in. Drinking these staining beverages through a straw minimizes the contact they have with your teeth, minimizing the staining and damage they cause as well. Problem solved!
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #8: Avoid everything!
Just kidding. You don’t have to avoid everything, but it’s a good idea to stay away from some of the usual suspects that are known for staining teeth and causing tooth decay. Some of the popular ones are sports drinks (think those neon-colored energy drinks that can’t be natural and probably shouldn’t be put into your body in the first place), carbonated beverages (big surprise there), and sauces like soy sauce, tomato sauces, and curries. And once again, brush your teeth after consuming teeth-staining foods and drinks
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #9: Stop smoking
Full stop. Do I really need to go on? Ok. Cigarettes contain plenty of ingredients that are just downright awful for your overall health. Two of those ingredients are nicotine and tar, and those smooth criminals are responsible for the yellowing effect that many people have seen on frequent smokers. If you want to preserve your beautiful smile, kick the habit and enjoy several other health benefits of living a smoke-free life.
Teeth Whitening Maintenance Tip #10: Keep drinking
Your mom told you to do it. Your teachers told you to do it. Your dietician told you to do it. And now I’m telling you to do it. But for a different reason than you’d think. Yes, drinking lots of water throughout the day is uber important for a lot of reasons, and one of them is to keep your teeth whiter. Here’s why.
When you drink water, you are naturally washing out your mouth. All the leftover particles from your previous meals (eww) are flushed out, along with any bacteria that might have stuck around without you noticing. So you’re essentially putting your teeth through a car wash every time you take a swig.
What’s more, drinking keeps your mouth moist and fresh. This is not the kind of environment that harmful bacteria want to hang around in. Oh well.
Keep Those Pearly Whites Sparkling All the Time
Smiling ushers in loads of health benefits, including happy endorphin release, stress relief, a more positive outlook on life, and more opportunities all around. Best of all, you don’t have to keep going back for teeth whitening treatments, and you don’t have to give up on your dreams of having a beautiful smile either. Follow these insider tips for keeping your smile whiter and brighter every day. Now that’s a real reason to smile!