How To Keep Your Teeth White

Teeth WhiteningHow do you maintain a whiter, brighter smile? Read on.

If you've recently whitened your teeth, you've taken advantage of the most popular and cost-effective method of cosmetic dental enhancement available today. You may also be wondering how long you'll retain this new look. Depending on the method you used, it could be as long as five years before you need another treatment if you follow the proper steps.

Steer clear of stains

If foods, drinks or chemicals are the culprits behind your initial discoloration of your teeth, you'll need to avoid those agents after you whiten your teeth or you'll be right back to where you started. Coffee, tea, soda, red wine and tobacco products are the usual suspects; consider cutting back or giving these habits up for the sake of your smile. Brushing and rinsing after meals are important, not only to keep your teeth white, but to cut back on the formation of plaque.

How white is too white?

It might be tempting to go "off-label" and leave whitening agents on longer than recommended or to use various whitening treatments in tandem. This overload can actually work against your teeth. Too many chemicals on your teeth are damaging to the protective enamel, which can lead to a blotchy or faded look on their surface. It can also increase tooth sensitivity to hot and cold stimuli, which can be very uncomfortable.

Talk to your dentist

Most dentists, including those at your North Charleston dental office, will tell you that over-the-counter whitening techniques can be somewhat effective, but long-term use can actually damage your enamel, as discussed above. Because these products are not medical-grade, they do not last as long and typically require repetitive use. For the most dramatic and long-lasting treatment, it's best to have your teeth whitened professionally. If you receive an in-office whitening treatment at North Rivers Dental Associates, you will be given detailed instructions after the procedure on the best way to maintain your investment.

By talking about all the whitening options with your Tri-County dentist, you can make an informed decision about revitalizing your smile. Call the office today to set up a consultation.