Healthy white teeth require healthy Enamel. This is the outermost part of the Tooth. Preserving the enamel is essential, as it can never grow back. Once this hard, white part of the tooth is lost, teeth become darker in colour. At my North Vancouver dental practice, I get asked a lot about how to maintain a white smile. Here are my top 10 tips to preserving Enamel and keeping a WHITE Smile.
(1) Don’t brush too hard!
A hard toothbrush can do permanent damage to the Enamel. Use a very SOFT toothbrush and gentle toothpaste, to brush twice daily. Only a gentle brushing technique is required to remove plaque and maintain a healthy smile. Toss the medium or hard toothbrush, and opt for the very-soft or soft brush!
(2) Don’t graze on sugary snacks
Frequently grazing on sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods can cause cavities. Cavities discolour the teeth, and eventually create a dark hole. Maintaining a white smile begins with good oral health. Visit your dentist regularly to prevent, and treat any cavities early.
(3) Don’t swish wine in your mouth
Wine is an example of an acidic beverage. Swishing the wine over the teeth increases the acid exposure on the tooth Enamel. After drinking acidic beverages like juice, wine or coffee, drink water which will help wash away the acids from the teeth, and help neutralize the mouth.
(4) Address any chronic acid reflux or GERD
Acid reflux makes the mouth acidic. This causes erosion of the teeth, which is irreversible damage to the teeth caused by ACID attacks. Visit your medical doctor or Naturopath to discover the root cause for the acid reflux. Rinse with water to wash away the acids from the teeth.
(5) Protect teeth from grinding
Grinding or clenching teeth causes wear, chipping, crack lines, and sometimes even fractures of teeth. As the enamel wears, the teeth discolour and become darker with time. A custom-made NIGHT-GUARD will protect your teeth from wearing, and help maintain a white smile.
(6) Brush and Floss
Good home oral care is essential to maintaining a beautiful white smile! Spend a minimum of 5 minutes on your oral care before bedtime. Brush gently and thoroughly for two minutes, and floss. This will prevent gum inflammation, gum disease, and also prevent cavities. In addition, visit your dentist twice yearly for professional cleanings and dental exams.
(7) Whiten professionally
Whiten less frequently and with professional products, under the supervision of your dentist. Before whitening, consider eliminating the source of the stain. UBC professor discusses whitening and tooth Enamel: http://news.ubc.ca/2016/01/06/teeth-whitening-can-cause-permanent-damage-ubc-prof/
(8) Don’t chew on nails or hard objects
Holding hard objects with your teeth can cause chipping and wear to the teeth. This damage to the tooth is irreversible, and would require dental fillings to repair. Habits which can cause damage to teeth include nail biting and chewing ice.
Crowded teeth are more likely to harbour plaque and accumulate stain. Consider straightening teeth to achieve a smile that is easier to clean. With age, teeth generally become more crowded. Teeth can be straightened with traditional metal braces, or Invisalign www.invisalign.com.
(10) Less coffee
Coffee and dark teas stain teeth. The best way to reduce coffee and tea stains is to eliminate or reduce consumption. If this is not feasible, rinse the mouth with water after drinking your beverage. The tooth enamel is temporarily softened after drinking anything acidic. So wait a minimum of 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
Please visit my website to learn more about my family North Vancouver dental office. www.thirdstreetdentaldrskinner.ca