The holiday season is a time for joy, celebration, and countless photo opportunities. That’s why many people seek professional teeth whitening just in time for the festivities. However, after investing time and effort into achieving a dazzling white smile, the last thing anyone wants is to see those results fade away before the New Year. Fortunately, with a few mindful practices, it’s possible to preserve that radiant smile throughout the holiday season.
Is your smile ready for yummy yuletide treats and festive photo ops? The team at Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek, GA, can help you get holiday-ready with comprehensive dental treatments tailored to your needs. So, let Dr. James Forester help you get a healthier, brighter smile so you can spread more Christmas cheer this year. Just call (770) 232-1830 to schedule your appointment now!
Whether you just whitened your teeth or you’re about to undergo whitening, knowing how to get the most out of your results is key to maintaining your snow-white smile. In today’s blog post, we explore the top 15 ways you can maintain your teeth whitening results and keep smiling confidently for many more holidays to come!
Mindful Food and Drink Choices
What would the holidays be without indulgent meals and festive beverages? For many of us, we look forward to the decadent sweets, rich dishes, and heartwarming spirits that this time of year has to offer. However, certain foods and drinks (like red wine, coffee, and dark-colored sauces) can stain our teeth.
This year, protect your teeth whitening results by opting for lighter-hued options, like white wine, green tea, and light-colored sauces. And don’t forget to drink plenty of water with meals and snacks! Water can help wash away stain-causing debris, keeping your smile hydrated and bright.
Regular Dental Hygiene
It is so important to stick to a consistent oral hygiene routine, especially during the holidays. Otherwise, we may develop dental issues going into the New Year, which can seriously affect teeth whitening results.
To get the most out of professional whitening, our team recommends brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste. While it may be tempting to reach for whitening toothpaste, we recommend steering clear. Whitening toothpaste often contains ultra-abrasive ingredients that can harm tooth enamel and lead to sensitivity and damage.
And don’t forget to floss! Flossing is a key aspect of oral hygiene, helping you maintain a healthier, more radiant smile. If traditional string floss is too frustrating to use, we recommend interdental brushes or water flossers for ease of use.
Want to add some extra flair to your hygiene routine? Try using fluoride-containing mouthwash! Just be sure to swish for at least one minute and avoid eating for roughly 30 minutes afterward.
Choose Teeth-Friendly Snacks
It’s no secret that our favorite holiday treats (like cookies, candies, and other sweets) can erode enamel and lead to preventable dental issues. So, this year, we want to encourage you to reach for smile-friendly snacks and treats instead.
Rather than reaching for chocolate or other sweet morsels, try reaching for crunchy fruits and veggies, like apples, carrots, and celery. These treats act like dental exfoliators, helping to remove stain-causing, cavity-causing debris.
Don’t think you can avoid giving in to your holiday sweet tooth? No worries! Just try to be mindful of your intake, prioritizing whole, natural foods over sugary, ultra-processed foods. The right balance of naughty and nice is key to preserving your teeth whitening results.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption
Who doesn’t love a warming cup of cheer during the holidays? But, unfortunately, alcoholic beverages can contribute to tooth discoloration.
The good news is that you can still celebrate the holiday season with your favorite spirits, but moderation is key. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend two alcoholic drinks per day for men while women should stick to just one alcoholic drink per day.
Also, consider choosing lighter-colored drinks to reduce the risk of staining. Clear cocktails, white wine, and vodka are ideal drinks to preserve teeth-whitening results.
Use a Straw
When sipping on highly pigmented beverages, we suggest using a straw to minimize contact with teeth. This simple trick can help prevent staining by directing the liquid past your teeth, reducing their exposure to potential discoloration.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals stimulates saliva production, which aids in cleaning the teeth, neutralizing acids, and preserving teeth-whitening results.
Here’s a tip: sugar-free chewing gums with xylitol are best, as this ingredient is a natural sweetener that has been shown to prevent tooth decay.
Touch-Up with At-Home Whitening Products
Oftentimes, dentists provide their patients with at-home whitening kits to prolong or augment their teeth whitening results. These kits help patients gradually enhance their smiles without ever needing to come into the dental office. Ask our team if at-home whitening is right for your smile!
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor your oral health and discuss any concerns post-whitening. Dr. Forester can provide professional cleanings and offer guidance on maintaining your teeth whitening results.
Oil pulling requires the use of healthy oils (such as coconut or sesame oil) that individuals swish around their mouths for roughly 15-20 minutes. While the data is inconclusive on this practice, many people believe it can help remove toxins and bacteria, contributing to a brighter smile. Always consult with our dentist before incorporating oil pulling into your routine.
Limit Tobacco Use
Smoking or using tobacco products can lead to stubborn and unsightly stains on teeth. Quitting or reducing tobacco use not only benefits your overall health but also helps preserve your teeth whitening results.
Staying hydrated during the colder months is challenging, as many of us want something warmer than tap water to imbibe. So, we recommend opting for light-colored teas (like green or oolong) to keep warm, stay hydrated, and preserve your results after teeth whitening.
Practice Caution with DIY Remedies
While there are numerous DIY teeth-whitening remedies online, exercise caution before trying any of them. Some may be too abrasive, risking the health and strength of dental enamel. When in doubt, always consult with our dentist before attempting any store-bought, at-home whitening methods.
Invest in a Quality Toothbrush
While manual toothbrushes may be good, electric toothbrushes are great at maintaining whitening results. Electric toothbrushes are often more effective at removing stain-causing plaque, which helps you get more out of teeth whitening treatments.
Be Cautious with Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
If you choose to use over-the-counter whitening products, make sure they are reputable and safe. Follow the instructions carefully, and if you experience any sensitivity, discontinue use and consult our dentist immediately.
Mindful Teeth Grinding Prevention
Some people may grind their teeth, especially during stressful times (like the holiday season). Teeth grinding can contribute to enamel erosion and discoloration. Prevent damage and enjoy the results of teeth whitening for longer with protective nightguards.