If you’ve got a glowing white smile, you likely don’t want it to ever go away. White teeth can help you look younger, more attractive, and healthy. With the holiday season around the corner and tons of holiday photos to take, you won’t want to lose your white smile just yet. Here are the dos and don’ts for maintaining a white smile.

closeup of a young woman's smile

Quit Smoking

One of the best ways to keep your smile bright and glowing white like snow is to quit smoking. Smoking not only has a huge impact on your overall health but also your oral health. It can lead to stains, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and more. The reason teeth become so stained from smoking is from the tar and nicotine in cigarettes. With short-term use, cigarettes can make your teeth look yellow and with long-term use, they can turn brown. The longer you smoke, the more difficult it is to remove the stains. If you whiten your teeth but continue to smoke, don’t expect your results to last long.

Avoid Foods and Drinks that Stain

Another way to make your glowing white smile disappear before your eyes is by eating and drinking certain foods and drinks. Your teeth are porous which means they absorb anything they come into contact with. Every time you drink coffee, tea, or red wine, your teeth absorb those colors and cause discoloration. If you must drink these substances, we recommend using a straw or rinsing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth after consuming food or drinks. The less time the liquid has to interact with your teeth, the less likely it will cause staining.

Other foods and drinks to avoid or eat cautiously include dark sodas like cola, fruit juices, curry, tomato-based sauces, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, berries, and beetroot. Avoiding these foods and drinks can help you maintain a whiter smile longer.

Brush Your Teeth Regularly

It might seem obvious, but you should continue to brush your teeth at least twice per day if you want to avoid stained teeth. It’s even better to brush your teeth after each meal or flavored drink to limit the staining effects even more. When you brush your teeth, you’re not just removing the foods and drinks from your teeth that can stain, but you’re also removing plaque from your teeth. If you don’t remove plaque, it can harden into tartar which will cause even deeper stains in your teeth. For best results, use an electric toothbrush to make sure you get your teeth as clean as possible.

Don’t Forget to Floss

Brushing your teeth doesn’t always remove all the plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Flossing is essential to remove plaque from between your teeth and underneath the gum line. It doesn’t just help clean your teeth, but it helps prevent stains in these areas of your mouth. Flossing every night can help you prevent your white teeth from becoming stained or discolored.

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months

Over time, your toothbrush bristles become worn and they no longer work as effectively as they do when they’re new. If you’re not replacing your toothbrush every three months, you’re putting your teeth at a higher risk of plaque buildup and stains. To keep your teeth clean and white, set a reminder on your phone to change your toothbrush every three months.

Choose Lipstick Colors Wisely

Lipstick can either make your teeth look whiter or more yellow, it depends on the shade you choose. Choosing a shade with blue or red undertones can actually accentuate yellow tones in your teeth. Consider trying a medium coral shade instead to accentuate your white teeth.

Use a Straw

Drinking with a straw helps the liquid touch fewer areas of your teeth. If you’re good about not swishing your drink around in your mouth, using a straw can help you enjoy coffee and tea without the stress of stained teeth. Carry a reusable straw around with you so you’re always prepared!

Choose Non-White Clothing

Wearing solid white colors can actually make your teeth look less white. If you must wear white, choose an off-white instead, otherwise, your teeth might look more yellow. When possible, opt for colors besides white to help your teeth look as white as possible.

Consider Cosmetic Dentistry in Wilmington, NC

If you’re unhappy with the color of your teeth, we have several cosmetic dentistry options available in Wilmington, NC for you to choose from. If you just want a boost in color, we recommend professional teeth whitening with either an in-office or a take-home whitening kit. After the treatment, you can achieve a smile that’s several shades whiter.

On the flip side, if you want an endlessly white smile, we recommend porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers don’t stain which means you can eat whatever you want and your smile will still look amazing.

Contact Kuzma Advanced Dentistry in Wilmington, NC today at (910) 392-6060 to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry options for whiter teeth.