A dental implant dentist places implants in the mouth that act as a prosthesis to replace a lost tooth. The implant is a metal post inserted into the jaw to hold a tooth restoration, such as a dental crown, bridge, or denture. Patients who are considering dental implants frequently have questions for the dentist about…
Cosmetic Dentistry Tips for Preventing Stained Teeth
Teeth whitening is one of the most basic and popular cosmetic dentistry procedures available. After the bleaching process, extra care to keep teeth clear from stains embraces two essential concepts — avoiding substances that stain teeth and cleaning these substances out of the mouth after contact.
Improve eating habits
The first step to maintaining bright, white teeth is to try and prevent them from becoming stained. This may involve some dietary changes.
Avoid foods that stain
Everyday foods contain natural and artificial dyes that can easily stain teeth. Additionally, acids found in regular foods eat away at the surface enamel, exposing the dentin, which absorbs stains more quickly. Foods such as tomato sauce, curry and dark berries have deep coloring, which can darken the tooth surface, and acids that can contribute to erosion. Often, the best way to prevent stains is to avoid the things that cause them in the first place.
Drink with a straw
Colas, sodas, red wine, coffee and sports drinks contain pigments that discolor teeth and acids that eat enamel. Using a straw pulls these beverages into the mouth without running over the front teeth, which are the most visible and highly susceptible to stains. Drinking a glass of water after these beverages can also help wash the harmful substances out.
Eat foods that neutralize acids
A practical preventative measure between cosmetic dentistry appointments is to eat foods that naturally counteract the acids that damage protective enamel and open the tooth to stains. Cheese, non-citrus fruits and vegetables can help neutralize those acids occurring in common foods that are difficult to avoid.
Improve dental hygiene
Entirely avoiding substances that stain may be nearly impossible. However, a few simple actions can help to minimize the effect of food and beverage discoloration.
Brush and floss after meals
Since it is not always practical or desirable to avoid every food that could potentially stain teeth, a good practice is to brush after every snack and meal to remove discoloring substances. Flossing after eating may also help since food caught between the teeth may not be removed by brushing and can linger, worsening stains. Brushing and flossing not only help prevent tooth stains but also have other benefits, such as keeping the mouth healthy by discouraging cavities and gingivitis.
Drink water after eating
For those who find it difficult to brush after every meal, drinking a glass of water after eating could help by washing away food remnants or any sticky coloring that might adhere to teeth. A glass of milk is often extra beneficial because it neutralizes acids and helps prevent tooth decay with proteins called caseins, which form a bonded, protective film on the tooth surface.
Try whitening toothpaste and mouthwash
In between cosmetic dentistry treatments, whitening toothpaste is typically an excellent at-home solution, and mouthwash helps reduce the plaque that absorbs stains. Over-the-counter whitening products tend to be abrasive, which can erode enamel and actually make stains more likely; however, manufacturers have begun addressing this issue, and current products are often gentler than predecessors.
There are cosmetic dentistry options to improve the look and color of teeth, such as professional whitening and veneers. Following these tips can help keep teeth looking great as long as possible after treatments.
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