The last thing you want to deal with after paying to have your teeth whitened is unsightly discoloration. Luckily, tooth discoloration is a problem that can be cured before it even starts with a little preventative maintenance. Here are four tips that, if properly adhered to, should help to prevent tooth discoloration.
1. Use A Straw All The Time
Making a habit out of using a straw will only benefit you in the long run as it will help siphon whatever you are drinking away from your teeth. This is a great way to keep any sugary, stain-inducing liquids that you may already have a habit of consuming throughout the day from staining your teeth.
2. Avoid Foods, Beverages, And Products That Will Stain Your Teeth
Certain foods and beverages with high sugar and acid content will contribute to tooth discoloration. Some of the most popular and widely-used culprits are coffee, tea, wine, tobacco, candy, soda, fruits and vegetables with a high acid content (like tomatoes and blueberries), and (gasp) even soy sauce. Additionally, avoiding food in-between meals gives your saliva a chance to dilute any acids that could be remaining from the previous meal.
If you are not able to entirely eliminate tobacco and coffee from your diet, at least attempt to limit your intake–as prolonged use will surely stain your teeth and wear on your enamel.
3. Keep A Strict Oral Hygiene Schedule
Making sure that you are brushing and flossing your teeth within a half hour of each meal is an essential step to preventing tooth discoloration and a great way to keep your smile bright and healthy. Additionally, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash will aid in the prevention of bacteria that cling to your teeth and cause stains, discoloration, and other preventable issues.
4. Have Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned On A Bi-Annual Basis
Having your teeth cleaned on a bi-annual schedule greatly reduces the risk of discoloration. It is also beneficial to your overall oral health as your dentist can recommend other preventative treatments or spot any unforeseen problems during your visits.
Additionally, if you are not satisfied with the color of your teeth, or find that they are prone to discoloration, request that your dentist make a custom-fitted tray so you can whiten your teeth at home. As always, be sure to consult with your dentist concerning what whitening formula is best for you.