The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but it’s the smile that shows the world your full package! And whether you splurge for a professional teeth whitening, hit the Crest Whitestrips or are just blessed to have yet-unstained teeth, maintaining your pearly whites’ brightness as long as possible is paramount (for your budget as well as your smile).
For a life-long white smile, we turned to Dr. Jacqueline Fulop-Goodling, a New York City based orthodontist and whitening specialist to share her top dos and don’ts on maintaining that brilliant smile of yours.
For those of you whitening your teeth professionally or at home, DO complete the process! According to Dr. Jacquie, those least satisfied with whitening usually didn’t actually complete the entire treatment because their teeth became painfully sensitive. But, there are ways to minimize sensitivity: chew sugar-free gum (a study published by the British Dental Journal found those who chewed sugar-free gum experienced less intense sensitivity), dab anti-sensitivity toothpaste directly on sensitive spots and leave it over night and talk to your dentist about ACP (available at dental offices and known to instantly relieve sensitivity).
DON’T consume stain-making foods and beverages. For at least two weeks after whitening, avoid berries, tomato sauce, soy sauce, coffee, balsamic vinegar and other highly pigmented foods and beverages.
DO drink through a straw. Enjoy pigmented beverages through a straw to minimize the staining effects.
DO hit the baking soda. Toothpaste brands picked up on the magic of baking soda long ago, eliminating the need to mix your own whitening paste at home. Choose a whitening, baking soda based toothpaste that effectively cleans surface stains.
DO rise. Follow your brushing routine up with a whitening mouth rinse – many brands offer options that include whitening ingredients and have preventative properties.
DO chew your heart out. Nibbling on crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, celery, carrots and more actually scrub the surface of teeth and remove stains.