No matter where you live or what kind of lifestyle you enjoy, chances are you have a habit that could stain your teeth. Whether you’re a coffee lover, a tea enthusiast, or a red wine connoisseur, your teeth might not be as bright as you want them to be. Here are a few tips for reducing staining on your teeth without giving up your favorite foods or beverages.
Drink Water After You Drink
Drinking water during or after you enjoy your tea, coffee, or red wine can also help reduce stains. That’s because the water can help flush away the staining compounds before they can adhere to your teeth. This is another reason why chewing gum afterward can help reduce stains. Chewing gum promotes saliva production, and saliva can help wash away staining compounds too.
Good Oral Hygiene
Brushing your teeth can help remove stains because of the abrasive components of toothpaste. But did you know that brushing and flossing can also help prevent stains? You’re more likely to accumulate stains on teeth that have plaque on them. That’s because plaque gives the staining components of your food and drink something to stick to. Think of it like this: coffee sticks to plaque, plaque sticks to your teeth, eventually stains stick to your teeth. But if you don’t have any plaque on your teeth, the staining compounds in coffee have less to hold on to!
This one may sound obvious, but we always have to mention it. When it comes to the damage that smoking can do to your oral and overall health, yellow teeth seems like the least of your worries. But we still can’t emphasize enough that smoking tobacco (or using other tobacco products) does terrible things to the color of your teeth. If having whiter teeth is enough of a motivator to get you to quit, we support you!
Turn to the Professionals
If you end up with staining or yellowing teeth despite all the tips listed above, feel free to ask us for advice specific to your individual smile. The professional teeth cleaning you get from the hygienist at your regular checkup can remove some stains. Plus the dentist and hygienist can look at your teeth and let you know what other treatments or lifestyle changes may be helpful.
The best teeth whitening is professional teeth whitening done here at the dentist by a dental professional. Teeth whitening kits from the drug store are effective, but they are more time consuming and may not remove stains as easily. Dentists can also provide a professional, custom version of an at-home whitening kit, with more powerful bleaching gels and bleaching trays that fit your specific teeth. We are happy to discuss which teeth whitening technique that is best for you!
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Most of us have seen them: little boxes on the sides of toothpaste, toothbrushes, and packets of dental floss that have the words “ADA Accepted” on them. ADA stands for the American Dental Associate, but who are they and what does the seal mean?
The American Dental Association is the largest membership organization of dentists in the United States. It has over 160,000 members from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The goal of the non-profit organization is to look after the oral health of the public with a focus on ethics and science.
The ADA is made up of dentists and run by a president, a board of trustees, and a house of delegates. The organization was formed in 1859 when a group of dentists met in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1861, the ADA’s annual meeting was cancelled due to the Civil War. In 1907, the ADA Relief Fund was established to come to the aid of dentists who suffered from man-made or natural disasters, in response to the catastrophic earthquake in San Francisco 1906. By 1929, one third of member’s dues were earmarked for scientific research and the Journal of the American Dental Association was the premier dental scientific journal. In 1930, the ADA introduced its seal of approval.
The ADA has a research arm that conducts studies that include tests on the safety and effectiveness of oral health products, which can sport the seal if they pass. In addition to toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, you can also find the ADA seal on mouth rinses, sports mouthguards, sugar-free gum and even tap water filters. Companies that make these products can submit them for review and the ADA will test their claims to make sure they’re safe and effective for the public. The companies are then free to use the seal in their marketing and on their packaging.
In addition to those seals, it could be said that the ADA also puts its seal of approval on dentists themselves. The ADA is involved in establishing the standards of dental education and training for U.S. dentists. Through the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, they help regulate the testing and qualifications for becoming a licensed dentist in each state. We should note that a dentist doesn’t have to be a member of the ADA in order to be a fully qualified dentist. However, many dentists choose to be members because of the benefits it provides to both them and their patients.
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Brushing your teeth is such a routine habit that you may forget that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. But proper brushing is super important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease! Here are a few things you may be doing wrong in your dental hygiene habits and what to do instead to make sure your smile stays healthy now and into the future.
You’re Rushing and Brushing Too Hard
Hard and fast may be great for your SoulCycle workout, but not so for your teeth. Whether you’re rushing out the door to work in the morning or groggily stumbling to bed in the evening, there’s a tendency to rush through your dental hygiene routine just to get it over with. If you’re not going to brush for 2 whole minutes, you may think you can make up for it by applying more pressure and scrubbing your teeth harder. Not true! It’s much more important to be thorough and gentle. Brushing too hard can actually weaken your tooth enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay and sensitive teeth. Plus, you can actually irritate an injure your gums by brushing too hard. Take the time to do it right and your smile will thank you!
You’re Using the Wrong Toothbrush
Despite what some ads and commercials might have you think, there is no single brand of toothbrush that most dentists recommend. That being said, there are some guidelines you should always follow when choosing a toothbrush. First, get a soft-bristle brush. We know there are medium bristle and hard bristle options out there, but we’re sort of confused as to why they exist, because they’re not good for your teeth (they can be really hard on your tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and sensitivity). So stick to a soft bristle brush and only buy a hard bristle one if you’re going to use it to clean the grout in your bathroom.
Believe it or not, size is important too. If you have a smaller mouth, choose a brush with a smaller head that allows you to reach the tighter spaces in the back of your mouth. We’d hate to see your back molars getting neglected just because your toothbrush is too big!
Your Toothbrush Is Ancient
Once you’ve found your perfect toothbrush, try not to get too attached. It’s going to be a three-month relationship at most. That’s right: the lifespan of a toothbrush is only about three months. After that, the bristles get worn out and start sticking out every which way, which makes it hard for them to effectively remove plaque and debris from the surfaces of your teeth. If your toothbrush looks fluffy like a feather duster (or Guy Fieri’s hair), it’s time to toss it.
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