Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, of course, so the last thing you want to show them is discolored teeth that look dull and unhealthy. But for better or worse, your age, dietary choices, oral health routine, and lifestyle habits can affect the shade of your tooth enamel and the appearance of your smile.
Luckily, all it takes is the right approach to keep your pearly whites looking their best. This includes controlling factors that play an active role in tooth discoloration as well as cultivating an oral care routine that promotes whiter, healthier enamel.
Pause for a moment as cosmetic dentistry expert Quang Tran, DDS, at Smiles in Springfield discusses the best things you can do every day to promote a whiter, healthier smile, and learn how periodic in-office whitening treatments can enhance your effort.
The most important foundational step you can take toward maintaining a bright, healthy smile is something you already do every day: brush and floss your teeth with care. Proper daily oral care helps remove superficial enamel-staining molecules before they have the chance to “set in.”
It also helps to prevent the buildup of damaging and discoloring plaque and tartar.
Good oral hygiene habits include brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day (in the morning and before you go to bed), and flossing properly at least once a day. Use a soft-bristled brush and gentle pressure to prevent enamel erosion, which, over time, can make your teeth appear yellow.
Some of the most consumed beverages in the United States — including red wine, coffee, tea, and dark colas — also happen to be leading culprits behind tooth discoloration. Such beverages wash your enamel with stain molecules that can accumulate over time, especially if you drink them on a routine basis.
Minimizing your consumption of enamel-staining drinks can go a long way toward promoting whiter teeth; instead of drinking coffee in the morning and again later in the afternoon, for example, just have your favorite caffeinated beverage once a day.
Using a straw to sip red wine or dark colas also helps protect your teeth, as does rinsing your mouth with water after you consume enamel-staining drinks.
If you smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, you’ve probably already heard countless reasons why you should quit. Now, you can add protecting your oral health and preserving a white, bright smile to that list.
On top of increasing your risk of oral cancer, dulling your taste buds, and spoiling your breath, the tar and nicotine in cigarettes and chewing tobacco products are full of stain molecules that can damage and discolor your tooth enamel.
If you do smoke cigarettes or use tobacco, be sure to brush your teeth afterward.
While thorough oral hygiene habits can help you keep your teeth and gums looking fresh, clean, and healthy, having periodic professional cleanings and dental exams is the best way to ensure your teeth stay as healthy — and as white — as they can be.
Only dental professionals have the tools and techniques that can deep-clean your enamel, clear away residual plaque, and remove stubborn tartar buildup before it calcifies and leads to bigger oral health concerns.
Professional dental tools and cleaning techniques can also help lift tough, penetrating stain molecules that everyday brushing simply can’t scrub away.
Sometimes, the fastest, most effective way to a brighter, more luminous smile is through professional in-office teeth whitening treatments.
Some people choose to whiten their teeth because their enamel is naturally more of an off-white hue; others choose clinical whitening treatments to help erase long-standing stains that detract from their smile.
At Smiles in Springfield, we offer next-level whitening with Philips Zoom!, a customized enamel brightening treatment that combines advanced whitening gel with blue LED light-accelerated technology to help lift deep stain molecules and lighten your enamel in less than an hour.
Zoom! in-office whitening is a 15-minute process that’s repeated three times (for a total treatment time of about 45 minutes) until your enamel attains the desired shade of white.
If you’re ready for a whiter, brighter smile, our expert team at Smiles in Springfield can help. Call 703-634-4239 to schedule a visit with Dr. Tran in our Springfield, Virginia, office today.