In a perfect world, we’d all like our teeth to be white and dazzling so that we feel confident smiling and interacting with other people. However, in reality there are quite a number of things that can throw a wrench into our plants for pearly whites – namely something called living.
Maybe you’re a foodie, or you like to drink wine, or perhaps you smoke (tobacco, cannabis or both). You know these are all bad activities where the shade of your teeth is concerned, but even still, you can’t seem to value that more than your enjoyment.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, and luckily we have some quick tips for you on how you can keep your teeth from getting stained while you go about enjoying the finer things in life.
We don’t need to tell you to brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, do we? No, didn’t think so, which is why we’ll just get those two suggestions out of the way and strike them off our list. Ditto for use mouthwash and of course double ditto for the simple act of abstaining from things that stain our teeth.
Let’s move on to some real tips you might not know yet.
If you drink wine (or coffee or tea)
Wine is one of the most damaging things you can put in your mouth when it comes to staining your teeth. Coffee and tea are also on the list but they won’t be quite as bad as your favourite merlot.
When you do imbibe, what you’ll want to do is wrap your lips over your teeth as you take a sip. This will keep most of the staining tannins and what-not away from the front of your pearly whites and significantly reduce the visible stain potential.
It takes some getting used to at first, but with a bit of practice you’ll take every sip with tooth enamel saving precautions.
Keep a glass of water handy
Regardless of if you’re drinking or eating, remember to order a glass of water with your drink/meal. The idea is that every time you take a sip of wine (as an example), you take a sip of water afterwards to help rinse your mouth a bit. Same goes for other teeth staining beverages and staining foods as well.
Also, not only will it keep your tooth enamel looking fresher, it will also do your body some good as you stay hydrated.
Chew sugar-free gum
The concept of chewing sugar-free gum is the same as sipping water, and it works well, even if it is a little bit tricky to pull off. Why is it tricky to get right? Well, you can’t just be chewing gum continuously throughout a meal or glass of wine. It’s just not practical, neither is it particularly effective as before long the gum itself would be a stain machine too.
What you should do is chew gum after you’ve finished deinking or eating so that your natural saliva is stimulated and your teeth get a sort of mini-rinse as a result.
Seek professional help
Ok, so we debated adding the following recommendations into the basic section, because most of you will already know the deal. However, we felt that these tips were too important, and heck, let’s be real, they’re really the only way to ensure that your smile is as bright as can be.
To that end, we asked our dentist at Martindale Dental in Burlington, ON about what he would recommend for us to keep our teeth white.
Top of the list was (go figure) proper dental care!
Next up was get regular dental cleanings at the dentist office.
Then he talked about having your teeth whitened once or twice a year, to keep (or even improve) the shade of your teeth.
If teeth whitening isn’t enough, or you want to get the full treatment, then he advised that the best bang for your buck and your smile would be porcelain veneers. Intrigued we asked, why veneers and not just whitening, to which he replied “good question”.
Basically, veneers are just more effective at whitening our smile. Whitening treatments can only improve your shade by a few points, and the results will diminish again fairly quickly if you continue to drink wine, tea, coffee, smoke etc. Veneers on the other hand offer you the choice of any shade of white that you want, alongside other awesome cosmetic benefits like teeth shaping. Veneers are also much more stain resistant than our natural enamel, so you won’t find yourself running to the dentist bi-annually for a whitening treatment.
The drawbacks are of course, price and invasiveness of the procedure. Veneers aren’t cheap, and they do require some prep work that involves grinding down your natural teeth and permanently attaching the veneers to them, but that’s a story for another day.
So there you have it – how to keep your teeth white while you indulge in the finer things.
Brush, floss, visit your dentist. Then hide your teeth with your lips, drink lots of water alongside the good stuff, and if all else fails, visit your dentist again for teeth whitening treatment or some fancy dental veneers.