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John P. Goodman DDS

How to Maintain Teeth Whitening Results

By Dr. John Goodman on June 09, 2014

A woman pointing to her bright, white smileBright white teeth play an important role in the appearance of a beautiful smile. However, years of consuming darkly pigmented foods and drinks can result in stains that affect the teeth. For Kansas City residents, professional teeth whitening yields great results, sometimes lightening tooth enamel up to 10 shades. Over time, however, the results can fade as stains re-accumulate. If you’re interested in teeth whitening, talk to a dentist about your options. As an experienced cosmetic dentist, Dr. John Goodman offers an array of treatment options for all types of tooth stains. If you’ve recently undergone professional whitening, practice these tips to deter stain formation and prolong your smile’s brightness.

Prolong Teeth Whitening with Diet

Strawberries, baking soda, and apples are a few natural enamel whiteners. The malic acid in strawberries provides their teeth whiteningpower, while baking soda’s acid-neutralizing properties and mild abrasiveness team up to brighten teeth. Like strawberries, apples contain acid, but in addition, their crunchy texture provides a tooth-brushing type cleaning with every bite. While these three foods are great for prolonging professional whitening results, there are a few foods you should avoid. Tomatoes, blueberries, coffee, tea, and red wine contain chromagens, which are molecules with dark pigmentation. Chromagens naturally adhere to teeth, causing stains. When partnered with acidity, polyphenols, and tannins, chromagens have super staining power. Red wine is a great example of a product with chromagens, tannins, polyphenols, and acidity.

Habits Affect Whitening Results

Tobacco use results in yellow and brown stains on the teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco significantly tarnishes tooth enamel. Why? Because tobacco contains nicotine, which has no color until it contacts oxygen. Then it turns yellow. When you coat teeth with nicotine, through smoke or saliva, it finds its way into the cracks, crevices, and all surfaces of your teeth. Oxygen in the atmosphere, along with that which you inhale, causes the coating of nicotine to turn yellow and permanently stain tooth enamel. Today, people addicted to nicotine have access to many over-the-counter medications that can help curb the addiction. If you’ve tried to stop using tobacco without success, ask your general physician or Dr. Goodman for assistance.

Maintain Great Oral Health Care

Patients who take good care of their teeth and gums tend to enjoy a healthier, brighter, more attractive smile. While six-month checkups are imperative to long-term oral health, daily home care is equally important. Brushing and flossing remove tartar, plaque, and surface stains, all elements that mar a smile’s brightness. Ideally, you should brush your teeth when you wake, before breakfast, and wait at least a half hour after dinner before your second daily brushing. Floss once a day, as well. Use an ADA-approved toothpaste, and a tongue scraper to remove plaque. You can include an after-brushing mouthwash to boost your efforts.

Use Touch-Up Whitening

In addition to the dietary, habit, and oral health care considerations, prolong your professionally whitened teeth by wearing custom-fitted home bleaching trays as needed. Dr. Goodman can provide you with the tray and whitening gel at your dental visit. He’ll instruct you on how to use the products to achieve optimal results. Be sure to keep your whitening trays in a safe place, because you can use them again and again.

Schedule Your Consultation

Do your teeth have permanent, intrinsic stains that require veneers or bonding, or do they simply have topical discoloration that can be erased with professional teeth whitening? If you aren’t sure, but you know that you want a brighter, bolder smile, contact Dr. John Goodman’s dental office today. At your consultation, Dr. Goodman can explain his findings and suggest various treatment options to deliver a sparkling smile. 

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