Millions of Americans whiten their teeth each year. Unfortunately, whitened smiles can lose their luster if not properly cared for. Bright smiles can start to fade due to eating certain foods, drinking certain beverages, and engaging in certain habits, such as smoking.
If you have whitened your teeth, read these tips by Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, to learn how to keep them white. And if you’re looking for an expert to whiten your teeth, Dr. Carrillo, in Richmond, Virginia, can give you the stunning smile you desire.
Causes of discolored or stained teeth
As the years go by, your teeth will naturally look more gray or yellow. This is because the outer layer of enamel will thin out, and you will be able to see the layer underneath your enamel, called dentin, which is darker in color. Furthermore, many daily habits and activities can lead to darkened teeth, such as:
- Using chewing tobacco
- Drinking tea, coffee, soda, or red wine
- Eating dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries
- Snacking on colored, hard candy
- Drinking artificially colored sports drinks
- Eating a lot of tomato sauce
- Using medications, such as tetracycline, which can discolor teeth.
Dr. Carrillo offers at-home and in-office options for teeth whitening, which use peroxide-based bleaching agents. If you choose to have your teeth whitened at the office, you’ll only need a few visits, because the intensity of the solution is stronger. Each treatment should only take 30-60 minutes. When you come in for a consultation, he’ll review your dental history and lifestyle and help you determine which whitening option is best for you.
How to retain your results
After you get your teeth sparkling white, there are some things you can do to retain your results, such as:
- Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day
- Visit Dr. Carrillo at least twice a year for dental checkups and teeth cleanings
- Quit using all forms of tobacco
- Use a toothpaste that whitens teeth
- Try using a straw when drinking red wine, soda, tea, or coffee
- Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after consuming stain-causing foods and drinks
- Teeth whitening isn’t permanent, so you may need to repeat treatments every year or so.
Teeth whitening may not be effective on teeth with dental bridges, veneers, or crowns. When you meet with Dr. Carrillo, he’ll discuss your options and let you know if teeth whitening will work for you.
If you’d like to learn more about keeping your teeth white, or if you’re ready to get a dazzling, bright smile, book an appointment online or over the phone with Juan M. Carrillo, DMD, today.