Maintaining that Bright White Smile

Just had your teeth whitened? Considering whitening? “No doubt, a fresh white smile will give you a more youthful look and lift your self-image,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix cosmetic dentistry practice. But keeping your smile white needs to be part of your everyday dental routine.

Phoenix DentistHow do you keep your whitened teeth bright? Some steps are obvious—brush your teeth twice a day and floss them carefully once. Other whitening tips are not difficult:

  • Avoid coffee, red wine, blueberries (canned or frozen especially) and black tea.
  • If you are going to drink liquids that stain, use a straw to avoid the coloring agents touching your front teeth.
  • If you have something to drink or eat that stains your teeth, brush them soon after.

“Having your teeth whitened is not that different from having your car detailed,” says Dr. Ford. “There is a lot you can do to extend that just-whitened smile’s bright look.” Just as you would not head out to an off-road car camping trip the day after you clean your car, plan your teeth whitening for after a time when you may be eating or drinking more staining foods.

“During the holidays, you may have eaten more items that stained your teeth, but you also wanted to look great for the holidays, “ says Dr. Ford. “In that case, you may want to schedule the whitening ahead of time but plan for a touch-up after the holidays when you get back to your normal routine,” she adds.

How long does your whitening last? According to WebMD, “If you expose your teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining you may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month after treatment. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.”

WebMD also suggests using a whitening toothpaste once or twice a week to maintain that bright, youthful look of whitened teeth.

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