Ways of Ensuring Your White Smile Lasts as Long as Possible
Posted on 10/30/2019 by Jasmine Marshall
|Beyond cosmetic concerns, a healthy, white smile is an indication of health. People with healthier smiles tend to live longer. This correlation is directly based on the fact that oral hygiene is an extension of overall health. Striving to maintain a white smile can help your overall well-being.
Plaque build-up is the most common cause of discoloration and tooth decay. Plaque is formed when bad bacteria in the mouth feed on our leftover food, multiplying and mixing with saliva and acids to form a yellowish film on the enamel.
Flossing and brushing daily decreases your chances of discoloration. Flossing helps catch bacteria-boosting food particles left in the mouth after eating. Brushing twice daily brushes away bacteria sitting on the teeth. A tongue scraper should be added to your oral health kit. The tongue is wet, warm, spongy, and porous; the perfect environment for bacteria. Bacterial overgrowth often starts on the tongue and is spread to the teeth, causing discoloration.
As plaque-forming bacteria chemically interact with acid to decay the tooth, try to exercise caution when consuming acidic food and drink. Acidic foods include (but are not limited to): citrus fruits and juices, some grains, sugar, some dairy products, fish, alcohol, and processed foods. Although many foods that contain acidic compounds are good for the health of the mouth and the body, make sure to rinse thoroughly after consuming them. Rinsing the mouth after eating ANY food can help prevent the build-up of plaque.
Gargle water after meals to dislodge any stray food particles before harmful bacteria can feast upon them. Many of the aforementioned foods can actually help combat harmful bacteria in the oral cavity and the gut, and should be consumed as part of a healthy, teeth-whitening diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and probiotic foods (fermented, cultured foods; yogurt is a good example, as it is high in probiotics and a good source of calcium) should be eaten regularly. Just remember to rinse!
Nicotine and tar in tobacco combine with oxygen and turn a sickly yellow color. Teeth are slightly porous, and when you smoke cigarettes, chemicals within them can seep into the surface of the teeth. For a long-lasting, white smile, it's important to quit smoking.
Some stains on the teeth are purely cosmetic, and can be treated by our dentists. There are certain substances which may not be harmful to overall health, but can stain the teeth. Our office offers safe whitening treatments, which can be maintained with the above advice. If you are concerned about the brightness of your smile, give us a call today.