Stop Doing This If You Want White Teeth

Stop Doing This If You Want White Teeth

If you want a whiter smile, you’re not alone. It’s a desire of about 80% of American adults. Professional teeth whitening is one of our most popular procedures because it’s affordable and effective. Having a whiter smile gives you more self-confidence, which can translate into better personal and business relationships.

But if you aren’t ready for professional teeth whitening yet — or if you’ve already had it done and want to maintain the results for as long as possible — your habits can make a big difference in the appearance of your smile. Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains more about how you can achieve a whiter smile.

What makes teeth yellow

If you've never had your teeth whitened, you may not even remember their natural shade. Our teeth become darker (often a dull shade of yellow) when they are stained by bad habits, including what we eat.

If you’ve had your teeth whitened, you may feel dismayed by the fact that they’ve become discolored again. For one thing, teeth whitening isn’t usually considered permanent due to consuming substances that stain our teeth. But you can keep your teeth white between by following some of the better habits listed below.

What stains your teeth

Many common habits can stain your teeth, such as:

Smoking

If you’re still smoking, it’s a major contributor to staining your teeth. Unfortunately, even if you only smoke once in a while, it still affects your teeth. Quitting is a lot better for your teeth (and your overall health). Let your general practitioner know if you need help with stopping.

Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea are practically staples of our lives; most people regularly consume one or the other (if not both). The downside is that both coffee and tea can stain your teeth pretty badly.

We’re not asking you to give up coffee or tea. Just rinsing your mouth with water or brushing your teeth after drinking them can help prevent many stains from forming.

Red wine

Yet another popular beverage, red wine, is also on the list of drinks that can stain your teeth. As with coffee and tea, you can still enjoy an occasional glass of red wine. In fact, this is often recommended, as red wine has many benefits for your heart health because of the resveratrol in it. Just make sure to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth afterward.

Acidic foods

Acidic foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and soda, can also stain your teeth. They wear down tooth enamel, making stains stick more easily. Again, you don’t need to give up these foods and beverages entirely; just make sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water.

In addition to the above foods and beverages, certain medications can stain your teeth as well. These include a few antihistamines, antipsychotics, and medications to treat high blood pressure. Cancer treatments may cause darker teeth, too.


If you’re interested in getting professional teeth whitening, we would love to talk to you about getting started. Contact Dr. Thomas D. Sokoly at our Washington, DC, office today. You can call or book online.

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