Americans sometimes seem obsessed with keeping their teeth as white as possible at all times. Of course, everyone should know that perfect white teeth aren’t exactly natural. In fact, the natural color of teeth is light yellow, or sometimes, light yellow-red. And your teeth tend to get even yellower as you age.
The normal state of aging teeth comes with erosion of surface enamel to erode and crack, exposing dentin, which actually absorbs the color of many foods. After the age of 40, pearly white teeth are nearly impossible.
Is Having my Teeth Whitened a Waste of Time?
Many of he things most Americans eat and drink with regularity can leave a stain on teeth. Some of the most obvious culprits like dark drinks like coffee, tea, and brown sodas and liquor.
Other things that leave teeth stained can include the use of antibiotics and several medications, carrying through a high fever, and a lot more. Not to worry, though, the yellower your tooth gets, the easier it will be to remove the stain.
That’s right; many of the worst stains can often be washed away without a professional cleaning. That means teeth whitening is not only a good thing to do, doing it yourself might save money at the dentist’s office.
So, How Do I Keep My Teeth White?
The first thing you can do to prevent stains to your teeth is to brush them. Dentists recommend brushing twice a day; once in the morning and once before bed, but if you want to prevent stains as much as possible, you should probably brush after every meal, and every time you eat food or drink coffee, tea, or dark color soda.
And if you feel you have to drink things like that, who will always stan your teeth, drink them through a straw as much as possible. And if you have to eat food that stains, use flatware and try as hard as possible to miss the teeth altogether.
Dental experts also recommend that you brush thoroughly, in a circular motion, and not lightly and straight across the teeth. They also recommend that you rinse your teeth with a disclosing solution, which you can get from your dentist. That will show you where plaque sticks around after you brush.
It is the plaque that usually stains the most when you eat and drink. It’s also a great way to keep track of the effectiveness of your brushing and flossing habits. Also, if you think you can do better, try using an electric toothbrush. Most people with an electric brush will brush more often than they will with a manual brush, and they usually brush longer.
Use Mouthwash, But Only if It’s the Best
Any type of mouthwash can be used to rinse after brushing, but the type that has antibacterial ingredients with reduce the plaque, which will go a long way toward reducing stains. These days, a lot of mouthwashes come with whitening ingredients, which may help a little, too.
For a long time, dentists warned patients against using over-the-counter teeth whitening products because of the gritty abrasives that tended to erode the enamel from he teeth.
More recently, however, manufacturers use more hydrogen peroxide and a lot less abrasive materials, which makes them better.
However, if you want to know the answer to the question, “how long does teeth whitening last?” the answer can’t be answered if you care for your teeth the way we suggest. However, no one should expect miracles. The peroxides in whitening products, including toothpastes, only last a short time, so none of them last very long.
There are no permanent solutions to stained and discolored teeth – even a dentist’s whitening treatments won’t last a long time, and certainly not forever. After all, no one’s teeth are permanently white, anyway, remember?