Many dental patients want to keep their teeth white. To prevent stain, especially for 48 hours after teeth whitening1, don’t let the following food and drinks touch your teeth: Tea2, coffee, red wine, tomato sauces, and strongly-colored fruit3. When drinking staining liquids, periodically swish some plain water around your mouth to rinse your teeth off. Some people drink coffee through a straw. The company Hot Straw™ makes a straw that is safe to use with hot liquids5. If you smoke, avoid smoking for 48 hours after whitening4.
Try to brush after every meal, to remove food debris that may become stained. Many people mistakenly brush their teeth too hard, thinking it is more effective. Harder toothbrushing may cause abrasion (tooth wear), especially if you eat or drink acidic products6. It may also cause the gums to recede, exposing dentin, the more fragile tooth layer underneath. These fragile teeth surfaces are more susceptible to being stained8, as well as getting cavities and being sensitive. It is more effective to brush with lighter pressure and to tilt your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, so that the toothbrush bristles go slightly underneath your gumline.
Almost all toothpastes have ingredients that remove stain7. However, the ingredient hydrated silica may microscopically wear down your tooth enamel. The following ingredients remove stain, but are less abrasive: Dicalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate9. In addition, the following ingredients remineralize your teeth, which may prevent stain10: Fluoride, CPP-ACP, and nano carbonate apatite11.
If you are unable to brush after every meal, at least periodically swish some water around your mouth to rinse your teeth off. Chewing sugarless gum after meals stimulates saliva9, whose remineralizing effects can prevent stain13,14.
With these tips, your bright smile will be preserved for a long time.
1,3,4Al Quran, F., Al Wahadni, A., Al-Hyari, S., Mair, L., & Mansour, Y (2011). Efficacy and persistence of tooth bleaching using a diode laser with three different treatment regimens. The European Journal of Esthetic Dentistry, 6(4), 1-10.
2,10, 13Chand, P., Ram, S., Shetty, O., Singh, R. Yadav, R. (2010). Efficacy of casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate to prevent stain absorption on freshly bleached enamel: An in vitro study. Journal of Conservative Dentistry, 13(2), 76-79.
5Hot Straw™ corporate Internet website. Retrieved on February 3, 2014 from http://www.hotstraw.com/pages/faqs
6Attin, T., Egert, S., & Wiegand, A. (2008). Toothbrushing before or after an acidic challenge to minimize tooth wear? An in situ/ex vivo study. American Journal of Dentistry, 21(1), 13-16.
7Joiner, A. (2010). Whitening toothpastes: a review of the literature. Journal of Color and Appearance in Dentistry, 38(2), e17-e24.
8Addy, M. & Watts, A. (2001). Tooth discolouration and staining: a review of the literature. British Dental Journal, 190, 309-316.
9Moore, M, Putt, M., & Schemehorn, B. (2011). Abrasion, polishing, and stain removal characteristics of various commercial dentrifices in vitro. The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, 22(1), 11-18.
11Kim, B., Kim, Y., & Kwon, H. (2011). Effect of nano-carbonate apatite to prevent re-stain after dental bleaching in vitro. Journal of Dentistry, 39(9), 636-642.
12Ly, K., Milgrom, P. & Rothen, M. (2008). The Potential of Dental-Protective Chewing Gum in Oral Health Interventions. Journal of the American Dental Association, 139, 553-563.
14Grandini, S., Perra, C. & Porciani, P. (2010). Effect on dental stain occurrence by chewing gum containing sodium tripolyphosphate–a double-blind six-week trial. The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, 21(1), 4-7.