Home Health & Wellness Tips for Caring for Your Bright Smile After Teeth Whitening Treatment

Tips for Caring for Your Bright Smile After Teeth Whitening Treatment

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Knowing how to maximise the benefits of teeth whitening is essential for maintaining a pearly white smile, whether you’ve recently had your teeth whitened or are planning to do so in the future. Unfortunately, for those of us who enjoy coffee, sugary sweets, gooey chocolate, or a glass of red wine, cutting down on our favourite treats can be challenging. Yet being mindful of the food and drink choices you make is important, especially as some have the potential to cause teeth discolouration which will affect the brightness of your smile.

Maintaining your pearly whites 

Tomato soup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, curry dishes with turmeric, and colourful sweets are best avoided. That goes for tea, cola, and the drinks mentioned earlier. To reduce tooth staining, ensure you are including crunchy foods in your diet. Fruit and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and celery are a good choice as they can effectively remove food particles that lead to stains and cavities, contributing to better oral health. There are also other steps that you can take to prolong a dazzling smile, such as:

  • Avoid skipping your regular dental appointments, where you can keep an eye on your oral health and address any issues after whitening. 
  • Reduce consumption of fizzy and carbonated drinks, along with foods that are high in citrus levels. These factors can impact the enamel protecting the teeth, leading to more noticeable staining. 
  • Consider reducing or eliminating lifestyle habits that impact your teeth and overall health. Smoking deserves to be at the top of this list! 
  • Remember to drink water after consuming foods or drinks known to stain your teeth. This will help to wash away any residual elements that can contribute to the discolouration of your whiter smile. 
  • Practice good dental hygiene. Brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush twice a day, floss regularly, and use mouthwash. 

With dental care in mind, let’s take a brief look at the fascinating history of toothpaste.

Exploring the origins of dental paste

Toothpaste was first used in ancient Egypt around 5,000 B.C.. To clean their teeth, the Egyptians used a mixture of pulverised ox hooves, myrrh, pumice, and burned eggshells. The Greeks and Romans later improved on these formulations by including abrasives such as crushed bones and oyster shells. 

India utilised a range of herbs and spices such as ginger and pepper in their Ayurvedic medicinal system, while the Chinese incorporated ginseng, herbal mints and salt into their practices. 

Interestingly, dental care regressed in medieval Europe. Oral hygiene was not a top priority due to a mix of superstition, limited scientific knowledge, and religious beliefs. Toothpaste recipes from this era often contained sugar, which is now recognised as detrimental to dental health. 

In the 19th century, toothpaste started to be used more widely and in a standardised manner. However, toothpaste as we know it today was created in 1842 when dentist Peabody added soap to the toothpaste that was already on the market at the time. Every few years after that, new ingredients were added to this base to improve the toothpaste. In 1850, John Harris added chalk to Peabody’s recipe. 

Modern toothpaste named ‘dentifrice crème’ was introduced in 1870 by American chemist and dental surgeon Washington Sheffield Wentworth. He also pioneered collapsible tubes with his son Lucius T. Sheffield. Three years later, the first widely available toothpaste was introduced, in powder form and sold in a glass container. 

And in case you’re wondering, ancient China was the birthplace of the first toothbrush, crafted from fish bones and fish spines.  

Whiten your future with toothpaste

If you’re looking to maintain a brighter smile, there are numerous types of toothpaste available. Many have properties that can help whiten teeth. Whitening toothpastes work best on stains that are on the surface, however, so if you’re dealing with stubborn stains, teeth whitening treatments may be a better option. Nonetheless, for coffee lovers, whitening toothpaste with anti-plaque ingredients can be beneficial without causing any harm. 

Finally, if you notice that the benefits of your teeth whitening are beginning to become less noticeable over time, you should contact your dentist to consider scheduling a touch-up session.

Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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