Time is no friend to the color and appearance of your teeth. As they age, the pearly-white shade that once defined your smile can fade, and your teeth might stain from the years of biting, chewing, and drinking your food and beverages. If you wait until they’re already dull and stained, then you may need a professional teeth-whitening treatment to restore their beauty. However, if you actively fight the natural causes of teeth stains—the color molecules in your food and the bacteria that weaken your teeth—you can keep your smile bright for longer and prolong the need for a cosmetic touchup.
Use your toothbrush and floss as directed
Brushing and flossing teeth is one of the first things we learn as children, and Dr. Van Wicklen advises doing it at least twice a day, every day. The point is to remove all traces of plaque, which contains bacteria that attack your tooth enamel with metabolized acids. When enamel is weak, the color molecules (or chromogens) in your food and drink can more easily stain your teeth.
Keep water nearby during every meal
Water is a highly-potent acid-neutralizer, and swishing around a sip of H2O after a meal can help negate the effects of bacteria-produced acid on your teeth. Water also helps neutralize oral bacteria, which are mostly anaerobic, meaning they thrive without oxygen. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep you hydrated and facilitate a healthy flow of saliva, your mouth’s natural anti-bacterial rinse.
Make liberal use of straws
If you simply must have a soda, glass of fruit juice, glass or two of wine, or cup of coffee in the morning, then Dr. Van Wicklen recommends drinking them through a straw. Position the straw towards the back of your mouth, rather than at the front, to minimize your teeth’s exposure to the beverage.
Say no to tobacco
Hopefully, you’ve already quit smoking, or never even started in the first place. If you do smoke, however, then Dr. Van Wicklen strongly advises you to stop for a countless number of reasons. As far as your teeth are concerned, smoking and smokeless tobacco are notorious for causing seriously dark brown teeth stains, as well as significantly increasing your risk of aggressive periodontal disease, chronic bad breath, tooth loss, and oral cancer, among many other diseases.
About Your Austin Dentist:
Since 1985, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen has been providing expert restorative and cosmetic dentistry services to patients and families in Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your cosmetic dental consultation, call our office today at (512) 448-3131.