Three Mistakes That Can Ruin Your White Smile

Dentist Blog

Maintaining a white smile requires more than just regular visits to your dentist. You also need to make sure you are caring for your teeth properly between visits. You can have healthy teeth and gums and still experience unwelcome tooth discoloration. The following are three mistakes that can dull your smile.

#1: Consuming staining beverages

Certain beverages tend to lead to staining. This includes dark colored sodas, coffee, tea, and red wine. Cutting these out of your diet completely will ensure there are no unwanted stains, but this isn't necessary. When enjoying one of these beverages, follow it up with a glass of water. Swish some water around your mouth to rinse the dark colored beverage away. This will slow the darkening and yellowing caused by these drinks. Further, keep up with your regular six month dental cleanings so that discoloration doesn't become too severe.

#2: Using overly abrasive cleaning methods

Highly abrasive cleaning methods are worse than dark colored beverages because they can lead to permanent discoloration. This is because the enamel becomes damaged, which allows stains to seep in deeply. In some cases the enamel can wear away, so that the darker colored interior of the tooth shows through. Use a soft bristled brush as opposed to a harder bristle. It cleans just as well but doesn't damage the enamel. Also, avoid highly abrasive toothpastes or tooth powders. For example, many people brush with baking soda. This works well to brighten your smile when done occasionally, but straight baking soda may be too abrasive for daily use.

#3: Eating acidic foods

Highly acidic foods are just as troublesome as abrasive cleaners. This is because the acid can etch the enamel or cause it to thin, allowing stains to adhere better to the rough surface or allowing the darker dentin layer to show through. Examples of acidic foods are the aforementioned red wine, citrus fruits and beverages, and foods that contain tomato. Many of these foods are also dark in color, which means they damage enamel and cause staining at the same time. Rinse your mouth with water after eating these foods, but hold off on brushing for a little while. Brushing immediately after eating an acidic food can actually rub the acid into the enamel, increasing the chances for enamel damage.

For more help in maintaining your white smile or to schedule a whitening treatment, contact a dentist in your area like Centre Family Dentistry.


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