6 Steps to Improve Your Smile in the New Year

6 Steps to Improve Your Smile in the New Year
Posted on 12/11/2018

The New Year is coming soon! This is the perfect time of year to work on your New Year’s resolutions. If your smile is looking a little yellow, why not resolve to improve its appearance? Adopt these six healthy dental hygiene habits to brighten your smile in the coming year. 

1. Stay Hydrated

Saliva and moisture in the mouth help wash away foods that otherwise might stay on the teeth and stain the enamel. Hydration is an important part of ensuring that your body will produce the saliva it needs for this process. Water also helps keep your teeth clean by washing away food particles as you drink.

To stay properly hydrated, drink about 64 ounces of water each day. For maximum effectiveness, swish the water in your mouth before swallowing.

2. Floss After Eating

When you eat, food may get stuck between your teeth. Trapped food can cause plaque to build up on your teeth, but flossing helps get rid of the food, which can prevent stains from forming on your teeth. 

Travel floss comes in small rolls that are easy to fit in a purse or in your wallet. To make flossing easy to do anywhere, carry travel floss with you and use it in the bathroom after eating. 

To ensure that you're flossing properly, ask your dentist to show you how to floss at your next appointment. Your dentist will show you the proper flossing techniques, then practice in front of your dentist at your next appointment. This enables your dentist to correct any bad flossing habits that you've developed.

3. Limit Habits That Stain Teeth

Some habits cause teeth to stain. Smoking can stain teeth with nicotine and tar, and it also causes chronic dry mouth, which can limit saliva production and exacerbate stains on the tooth enamel. If you're a smoker, improve your dental hygiene and quit the habit. 

Smoking isn't the only habit that can lead to stains on the teeth. Coffee and tea can stain the teeth over time, as can wine. Some people who drink wine believe that only red wine will stain their tooth enamel, but this is not the case. White wine is acidic and can etch the teeth, making it easier for dark-colored drinks to stain the enamel. 

For best results, stop consumption of coffee and wine altogether. If you're not ready to stop drinking these beverages, resolve to cut your consumption in half over the course of the New Year. 

4. Have Your Teeth Whitened

Professional tooth whitening happens at the dentist's office. Professional whitening lasts longer and is often more dramatic than at-home whitening procedures. Have your teeth whitened in the early part of the New Year, after changing your daily habits to keep your teeth whiter. 

Note that if you have a dental implant, the whitening procedure will not whiten it. If you're worried about your teeth matching, your dentist can point you in the direction of at-home whitening products that will whiten your teeth less dramatically, so the difference will not be so obvious.

You can use many at-home tooth whitening products, including toothpaste, tooth-whitening kits, and even whitening gum. 

5. Eat Crunchy, Healthy Foods

Crunchy foods help clean the teeth in two ways. First, crunchy foods promote the production of saliva, which helps clean the teeth through the washing action described above. Second, crunchy foods also wipe away foods on the tooth enamel as the teeth chew the foods. Some fibrous crunchy foods like celery even produce a flossing action that can help clean the space in between teeth.

Eat crunchy, healthy foods like carrots, celery, and apples on a regular basis. Keep these foods on hand in your refrigerator so you can eat them whenever the mood strikes.

6. See Your Dentist Twice Annually

The best way to ensure that your teeth will be white, bright, and healthy is to see your dentist twice annually. At each visit, your dentist will remove plaque and stains, treat your teeth with fluoride and check for conditions that could cause your teeth to become stained. Your teeth will be smoother and cleaner than normal, which will make it easier for foods to slide off the enamel after eating. 

Biannual visits to the dentist keep your teeth slick and smooth year-round, which makes maintaining your teeth at home an easier task. Regular visits also give your dentist an opportunity to point out procedures that could help your teeth stay whiter. 

If you're hoping to keep your teeth whiter and brighter in the New Year, now is the time to talk to your dentist. Ask your dentist what you can do to make your teeth more attractive. 

At Treasured Smiles, we're happy to answer your questions and give you more information about whitening your teeth! Call us today to find out more.