Valentine… you make me smile!

Love is in the air with Valentine’s Day just ahead. Of course, your beautiful smile is the one of the first things your Valentine will notice. So, let’s take a moment for some simple tips to tune up that smile to its whitest and brightest:

THE GOOD: Foods like celery, apples, pears, and carrots trigger lots of saliva, which help wash away food debris and prevent staining. Chewing sugarless gum is a tooth-cleansing action and also triggers saliva. A bonus from all that saliva – the acid that causes tooth decay is neutralized.

Some healthy food choices, like blueberries, blackberries and beets do leave their color on teeth. The solution is to make sure to rinse after enjoying these. Beverages – coffee, tea, dark sodas, red wine and some fruit juices like cranberry or grape – also stain teeth easily. There’s no need to give them up, but remember to rinse your mouth after you drink.

THE BAD: While all sweetened drinks are bad for teeth, some energy and sports drinks are worse. Researchers found that these drinks — as well as bottled lemonade — may erode tooth enamel after long-term use. The result is thin, translucent, discolored teeth. To prevent tooth erosion, make sure to rinse your mouth with water when you are finished drinking.

THE UGLY: Not only is smoking bad for your health, it’s one of the worst offenders when it comes to staining teeth. Tobacco causes brown stains that penetrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. Smoking also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease), and increases the risk of most types of cancer. The list goes on.

If you feel your smile needs professional attention, re-energizing your smile takes less than an hour in our office. We use a state of the art system: a special whitening gel is applied to your teeth and works together with targeted light to break up stains and discoloration. If your teeth are extremely sensitive, we can use custom whitening trays for impressive results.

Make an appointment soon….and have your best smile ready for your Valentine!