When your teeth first grow in, they’re bright white. That’s thanks to their exterior coating, called enamel, which is both a hard protective outer layer and the thing that makes your teeth pearly white.
As you get older, though, your teeth yellow. That happens for a number of reasons: often because your enamel gets stained and also because as you get older, your enamel thins, allowing the yellowish dentin underneath to show through.
At his office in the University Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, Scott Evans, DDS, can set you up with either in-office or take-home teeth whitening. This allows you to restore your teeth to their pearly look. And once you get them bright again, you want to keep them that way.
To help extend the results of teeth whitening, we have a handful of tips.
To maintain a bright, white smile, the No. 1 thing you should not do is smoke. If you have a smoking habit, add yellow teeth to your list of reasons to quit. And if you don’t smoke, consider this a reminder not to start.
Avoid staining foods and drinks
Tobacco is one of the worst culprits for tooth staining, but it’s not the only one. Other common staining substances include:
- Coffee and tea
- Dark-colored berries and juices that incorporate them
- Soy sauce
- Tomato-based sauces
- Energy drinks
- Balsamic vinegar
This isn’t to say you need to give up these foods and drinks entirely. But to keep your teeth sparkling, moderate your intake and try to brush — or at least rinse out your mouth — soon after eating or drinking anything on this list.
Use straws and milk
If you like a hot beverage in the morning, add a little milk. This can help prevent the coffee or tea from staining your teeth.
If you love a cola or iced tea in the afternoon, use a straw. This minimizes the amount of the liquid that hits your teeth, limiting the staining potential of your beverage.
Brush and floss daily
White teeth are clean, healthy teeth. To keep your pearly whites intact, brush your teeth for two minutes each morning and night, and floss daily.
Get regular teeth cleanings and exams
Regularly brushing and flossing removes plaque from your teeth. But if you miss or skip over an area — like any tight spaces between your teeth — that plaque can harden into tartar. At that point, trying to remove it at home puts you at risk of damaging your tooth.
Fortunately, Dr. Evans and our team of dental hygienists can safely get rid of tartar when you come in for a teeth cleaning. That keeps your teeth healthier and brighter. With biannual teeth cleanings and exams, we can help you defend against the oral issues that could cause less-than-bright teeth.