Tips to Keep Your Smile White and Bright this Holiday Season

Tis the season for holiday parties, family gathering and lots of selfies and photo opportunities!

Tips to Look Your Best This Holiday Season
Dr. Christine Haag at First Choice Dental has some simple tips to help you keep your teeth their whitest and brightest through the holiday season.

Trade Lemon Water for Cucumber Water
Many people know they should reduce their intake of teeth-staining coffee, soda or teas and often opt for lemon water as a healthy replacement.  Water with a slice of lemon can actually be damaging to your teeth because the acid in the lemon can promote erosion of the enamel, and with hot water, the rate of chemical reaction causing acid erosion increases. Dr. Haag suggests mixing some “spa” water – cold/room temp with cucumber slices instead. She says, “If you drink warm water with lemon, rinse your mouth immediately after but don’t brush for about an hour.”

Minimize Coffee Stains by Choosing The Right Mug
If you drink coffee, drink from a mug with a vented lid.   This will limit the liquid’s direct contact with your teeth.  Straws are great if you are drinking soda but not preferable for hot liquids because you could burn the roof of your mouth and puckering with a straw can cause wrinkles around your lips. Dr. Haag advises that you drink your coffee in one sitting. “Don’t sip all day,” she says.

Consider Teeth Whitening
There are many whitening options available from in-office and take home treatments from your dentist to the over the counter whitening strips. Over-the-counter options are convenient and inexpensive, and many patients have good luck with them.  The two main differences are that these products don’t use custom trays, and have a lower quality and concentration in the whitening gel.  You attach strips to your teeth, and risk having some of the chemicals come in contact with your gum tissue. For some people, this causes burning and discomfort, and this may be worse with stronger solutions or for people with sensitive teeth.  If you don’t have any discomfort, then this may be an option for you. Dr. Haag explains that over the counter strips do not extend back in your mouth as far as whitening trays.  She says, “When you smile broadly you can see the contrast with the un-whitened back teeth.”

Love Your Red Wine and Still Love Your Smile
Red wine is also known to cause stains on your teeth.   Some stores sell special wipes to clean your teeth with after drinking wine but Dr. Haag says just rinsing well with a glass of water will suffice.

Electric tooth brush vs. regular tooth brush
A quality electric tooth brush has unique technology to help keep your teeth white and bright and the two-minute timer on the brush helps you brush for the recommended amount of time. Kids’ versions are ergonomically designed with little hands in mind, and adult versions are also a great choice for older adults or anyone with stiffer fingers and hands that could use help brushing.

May your holiday season sparkle and shine and be filled with merry and bright smiles, laughter and cheer! Schedule end of year appointents and reserve the best times for early 2016 by scheduling now online!