White teeth are always in, even after Labor Day
While in Manhattan I made sure to grab brunch at one of my favorite spots in town: Laduree. This cute little restaurant in the middle of Soho brings back so many good memories from Paris and fills my tummy with so much joy. Their brunch is absolutely delightful and of course you can't forget to take some macaroons to go! If you've never tried Laduree, you've gotta get your hands on the Rose Macaroon. It's heaven. As I sat down to have my delicious brunch, my waitress commented on my white teeth which is always a huge complement for a dentist.
Teeth whitening was always a hot topic between my patients and I. Since I started blogging, teeth whitening continues to be one of the most frequently asked questions I've gotten. And that's understandable. Your smile is often the first thing someone notices and keeping your teeth pearly white can be a huge confidence booster. White teeth can really redefine your face and enhance your smile with a quick transformation. No wonder many photo enhancing apps use a tooth whitening feature (have you ever noticed that?)! So what's one of the biggest tooth yellowing culprits we have to combat?
COFFEE AND TEA
"What what? How dare you even say such a thing!? I can't survive without coffee...do you want me to die?"
No. But yes. Your teeth may seem smooth but they are not flat. The surface of your teeth (the enamel) is actually made up of tons of microscopic pits. Sipping on dark drinks all day long is a very good way for pigments to accumulate in those pits on your teeth and eventually lead to permanent yellow teeth. I drink at least 2 cups of coffee a day (one of which I try to take decaf to void over-caffeinating). The best way to avoid tooth staining is to stop drinking coffee or tea. However, for most people this is absolutely NOT a viable option (including me!). I KNOW the need for caffeine: we need it to jump start the day and for some of us who stay up studying or battling a long on-call night coffee is as essential as air. So what can you do to minimize the harms of coffee or tea? Here are some tips:
1. GOT MILK? | Add milk, cream, etc. This not only reduces the dark pigment but it also changes the chemical property of the drink. Lips/fats from the milk will combine with pigments from the coffee to help reduce tooth staining. Thanks milk!!
2. STRAW POWER | In order for the drinks to stain your teeth they have to come into contact with your tooth surface. Drinking your drink from a straw also minimizes this contact.
3. CAN I HAVE COFFEE WITH THAT? | Drinking coffee with a meal can help wash down the coffee. If you're drinking coffee with sugar this also helps to minimize sugar exposure to prevent cavities. See related post about this!
4. COFFEE BREAK | Taking a break to drink your coffee instead of sipping on it all day long will also minimize the duration and amount of time the coffee contacts your tooth surface. Instead of taking your coffee at your desk and drinking it all day long, take a 15 minute break and chug it.
5. BRUSH, BRUSH, REPEAT | After your drink your coffee, rinse with water first to wash our the caffeine then brush with a whitening toothpaste. I've linked some of my favorite toothpastes below!
6. WHITEN YOUR TEETH | The safest, best and quickest way to get white teeth is an in-office professional treatment by your licensed dentist. Some over the counter products do work but will not provide the dramatic results of an in-office whitening. After your in-office whitening treatment you can follow the steps above to prevent re-staining your teeth.
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