We may be nearing the end of National Dental Hygiene Month, but that doesn’t mean your dental care should suffer come November 1. In fact, a much more heightened focus should be placed post-Halloween festivities. Consuming all the candy, chocolate, and sugary drinks is a recipe for (dental health) disaster. Not only do these sweet treats make you more susceptible to cavities, but they’re also a leading cause of yellowing teeth.
Two of the biggest questions dentists get are “what causes teeth stains?” and “how can I avoid them?” Alicia Schraner, D.D.S., a dentist at Yonkers Dental Arts, gets both quite often. “Yellowing can be caused by a wide array of factors, from medication use to inadequate brushing,” she says. “But the biggest culprits are smoking, drinking coffee and tea, and consuming highly pigmented foods. Genetics can also play a role, and some people just naturally have whiter teeth than others.”
Rule of thumb: If you’re looking to up-keep a megawatt smile, steering clear of “consuming highly pigmented foods” is also the move, according to Dr. Schraner. “Basically, think: any food or drink that can stain your clothes,” she adds.
Meet the Experts
Alicia Schraner, D.D.S., a dentist at Yonkers Dental Arts in Westchester County, New York.
In addition to keeping these dentist-recommended tips and products in mind, it’s important to remember that no at-home remedy supersedes getting a professional cleaning and check-up every six months. Consider the following a daily guide — but once you’re done adding each to your to-do list, be sure to book your next dentist appointment!
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