How To Avoid Staining Your Teeth

Cosmetic DentistA bright, white, confident smile is a social asset – and it’s something that your cosmetic dentist can help you achieve. If you visit your cosmetic dentist asking for help with your stained teeth, he or she will perform a thorough exam to ensure that you don’t have any conditions that might make whitening your teeth difficult or which might require immediate attention in order to make whitening possible later.

After your exam, your cosmetic dentist will likely talk to you about the two main routes to resolving the extrinsic stains on your teeth: using professionally supervised whitening treatments, and/or using new strategies related to what you eat and drink to reduce the chances of stains emerging or getting worse.

Strategy 1: Professionally supervised whitening treatments

If you choose to whiten your teeth by visiting your cosmetic dentist, you will most likely be given the option of in-office whitening treatments, or a take-home kit you will use with the supervision of your dentist.

Advantages of in-office whitening: Quick (only a few 60-90 minute treatment sessions), effective (uses a higher concentration of whitening agent than at-home options), safe and comfortable (your cosmetic dentist is on hand to help reduce problems with sensitivity).

Advantages of take-home kits: Trays can be customized to fit the unique shape of your mouth, you can contact your dentist if sensitivity issues arise, you can start and stop the applications of the whitening agent at your convenience, without an appointment.

In addition to these strategies, you’ll want to visit your cosmetic dentist for regularly scheduled appointments, since the prophylactic cleanings done on these occasions remove some extrinsic stains and keep your teeth healthy enough to be whitened professionally.

Strategy 2: Modifying your food and drink intake

Another set of activities that can impact the brightness of your smile relates to what you eat and drink. If you’re concerned about stained teeth, you’ll want to minimize your consumption of coffee, tea, wine (red and white), and soda pop. As far as foods go, hyper-pigmented foods such as blueberries and highly acidic foods like citrus fruit can cause staining problems. This effect can be reduced by rinsing your mouth out with water after consuming these foods.

On the positive side, you can improve the shade of your teeth by eating naturally whitening foods, such as strawberries, or firm-crunchy fruits and vegetables such as pears and celery, which stimulate saliva flow and actually scrub the surfaces of your teeth.

“Your cosmetic dentist should be your go-to person for help with resolving teeth stains,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix. “They can make the process safer, more comfortable, and more efficient.”

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